MIT Researcher: Path to hit record today runs through Apple’s iTunes Music Store

“John Lennon once suggested the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. But the Beatles have proven no match for Apple Computer Inc.,” Grant Robertson reports for The Globe and Mail. “The California firm, maker of the hugely popular iPod digital music players, won the right yesterday to keep its name on several music-related products, including its iTunes website, despite a trademark lawsuit from the Beatles’ record label.”

“Thirty years after it was founded, Apple has evolved into a music-industry powerhouse that is making some of the industry’s biggest names uncomfortable with its rise to fame. The emergence of the iPod has fuelled more than $1-billion worth of sales of downloadable songs from the iTunes music store, which is the most-used downloading service in the world.That dominance has given Apple significant leverage, allowing the company to dictate to the music industry the price of albums and how they are sold. ‘It’s a major force. The way you get a hit record these days is through iTunes,’ said Andrew Lippman, a researcher at the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which studies the impact of technology on communications,” Robertson reports.

“Apple Corps plans to appeal the ruling, but it’s not clear whether the two sides will be able to patch up their relationship enough to see the Beatles catalogue placed on iTunes. The band’s songs — including Hard Day’s Night and Let it Be — are the most notable exceptions to Apple Computer’s list of musical hits,” Robertson reports. “In a statement issued by Apple Computer yesterday, Mr. Jobs said the company was ‘glad to put this disagreement behind us.’ He then suggested the two sides could work together on bringing Apple Corps songs to Apple Computer’s site. ‘We’ve always loved the Beatles, and hopefully we can now work together to get them on the iTunes music store,’ Mr. Jobs said.”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Apple Computer beats Beatles in trademark court battle, Beatles plan to appeal – May 08, 2006
Apple inks deal with big four labels: iTunes Music Store prices stay at 99-cents per song – May 01, 2006


  1. Notwithstanding what Grant Robertson wrote (someon correct me if I’m wrong), the dispute wasn’t over Apple’s right to use their “name” on their iTunes Web site, it was over their use of their LOGO (which only appears in the status screen at top when nothing is playing). As Apple’s attorney said, “a moron in a hurry” wouldn’t confuse the two apples.

    Now instead of receiving tens of millions of dollars from the computer company, Yoko will have to shell out a couple million dollars to pay for legal expenses. Poo’ baby!

  2. Remember the bruhaha regarding the inclusion of legal downloads into the British music sales charts? I contended at the time that it was humorous because it may well turn out that the only charts that count for anything in the long run could be the iTunes charts. I still think that, too.

  3. Here’s your answer:

    The more stories you read about how amazingly successful Apple is with iPod/iTunes, the sooner the day is approaching when Steve will stand on the stage, in dreadlocks, and announce:

    “Today we are ceasing our operations to supply an OS for those few in the world making up the tiny market we have not been able to increase. Now that all of you have full access, via our Intel alumnium enclosures, to the OS preferred by 96% of personal computer users, we will now devote the full resources of Apple to becoming the Microsoft of the music world.

    “Thank you for your loyal support all these years, and, if you had a brain, nothing I am saying today should be a surprise to you.

    “Now, go to one of our Cute Cube iPod stores and get yourself another player with a bigger screen.”

  4. Had they won, I do in my cynical way, wonder if all these lovely re-mastered Beatles songs have been launched on a brand new download service called yes you guessed it ‘Apple’ and no doubt joyfully sponsored by that backer of all things fair in competition, Microsoft Corp. Yep bad corps always stick together. I hope the appeal doesn’t allow me to find out the truth of that.

  5. Johnny you seem a little bilious today so I can well understand your error but I don’t think that ‘preffered’ is in any way the right term for the reason that a little less than 96% actually use windows.

  6. Yawn. Apple still makes more money off Macs than the music business. Who cares what your “market share” is when you’re raking it in?

    Even if Macs in the future are only 25% of Apple’s business, you can’t exactly throw away 25% of your income.

  7. If Apple Corp. decides to sell downloadable Beatles music on their own site (no matter the format), won’t this be a violation of the agreement between Apple Corp and Apple Computer? Isn’t the agreement (in essence) that Apple Corp will develop content and Apple Computer will provide a delivery system?

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