The Beatles, who have long withheld their legendary catalog from streaming services, will finally offer up their discography to Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon’s Prime Music and more starting December 24th at 12:01 a.m. local times around the globe. The Fab Four announced their entry into the world of streaming with a video that reflects on their entire recording career and trumpets “The Beatles Now Streaming.”
Instead of agreeing to an exclusive partnership to bring their music to the streaming realm – like Taylor Swift and Apple Music, Prince and Tidal, etc. – the Beatles’ catalog arrives on nine different streaming services, including Rhapsody, Deezer, Slacker Radio, Google Play and Microsoft Groove.
In addition to the Beatles’ U.K. LPs, the streaming deal also features the two volumes of The Past Masters, Yellow Submarine and a trio of greatest hits compilations, The Beatles 1962 – 1966, The Beatles 1967 – 1970 and 1, totaling 224 songs.
It’s unclear why the Beatles’ Apple Corps and Universal Music Group opted to finally come to streaming services, but it follows a pattern of the Fab Four holding out on new musical mediums until they’re ready to join the party on their terms. The Beatles’ catalog didn’t come to iTunes until 2010, more than five years after the digital music store launch. Prior to that, the Beatles’ discography was similarly sluggish to embrace compact disc.
The solo discographies of all the Beatles are also available on streaming services, with George Harrison’s albums the latest to join the fray in October. As Financial Times notes, the Beatles’ arrival is bad news for Fab Four tribute acts that have populated streaming services with their covers in the absence of Beatles; the Beatles Tribute Band’s “Here Comes the Sun” has chalked up over 7 million streams on Spotify alone, which reportedly boils down to royalties in the thousands of dollars.
In celebration of the arrival of their catalog on streaming services “here, there and everywhere,” the Beatles’ official website has posted a graphic of the revolving Earth being illuminated by the sun, with countries currently past 12:01 a.m. December 24th local time able to access the Fab Four’s albums on streaming services. “The band of sun appears where The Beatles are streaming now. Watch as the music spreads around the globe on Christmas Eve,” the band’s site wrote, encouraging fans to use the hashtag #TheBeatlesStreaming on social media. At press time, that includes the Pacific Ocean and the western half of Australia.
Following the announcement of the Beatles’ streaming, Google Play offered up some statistics about the most searched Beatles albums and song lyrics, with Abbey Road and “Hey Jude” topping the lists.