Where Else but iTunes for The Beatles?

Arik Hesseldahl

Now that the latest bit of legal unpleasantness between Apple Computer and Apple Corps. – all but for an ill-advised appeal to a higher court – the jockeying among the online music services to land the exclusive rights to The Beatles catalog is underway.

But where else can The Beatles realistically turn but iTunes? What company in the business other than Apple Computer has a the advertising and marketing expertise to do justice to the 21st Century re-purposing of some of the most important music of the 20th Century? More after the jump.

Rhapsody perhaps? I doubt it. I didn’t even know that RealNetworks’ Rhapsody service had landed the exclusive rights to the post-Beatles John Lennon catalog, and never would have known about it had it not been for me happening upon this MacWorld story from late last year. If Rhapsody landed The Beatles, how would they tell the world?

But imagine the other possibilities. Now that we’ve seen repeatedly how badly the lawyers for the two Apples can beat up on each other, why not put them together and see what they can do in Harmony. Imagine the new interest in the iPod and iTunes from a generation of digital holdout boomers who don’t get the attraction of the whole thing? Imagine the new interest in The Beatles from an iPod-centric generation who right now can only get the music by ripping it from CDs, or buying weird knockoffs that slaughter the original songs in profoundly unoriginal ways like on this oddity, Beatles Regrooved.
Jay Atwood/Susan MacCorkle - Beatles Regrooved

Next imagine the ads. One of the most memorable ads of my high school years was the Nike ad set to “Revolution.” I found the video here. Everyone knows the music of The Beatles. Combine those powerfully familiar songs with the high production values of an iPod ad and you’d have something pretty powerful that would make the U2 Vertigo ad look pretty tame by comparison. Nearly everyone remembers seeing an iPod ad. The rest will remember this one.

I wonder if there’s anything left in The Beatles vaults that hasn’t ever seen the light of day that could serve as the exclusive of all exclusive tracks on iTunes.

No matter what kinds of promotional ideas the two can come up with – and the scenarios are endless – it would clearly be good business for both parties. If that isn’t obvious to Neil Aspinall, maybe he should go back to being a roadie. It certainly makes more sense than more lawsuits.