Until recently, songs by the Fab Four have only been legally available on physical media like CDs or as commercial downloads. But now Beatles songs are showing up on various streaming services.
Beginning at midnight on December 24, it will now be possible to directly stream cloud-based recordings of Beatles' albums on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Prime Music and Tidal, among others, according to various sources in the music industry.
In the era of Beatlemania, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr placed 17 No. 1 singles in the British charts. The band from Liverpool disbanded in April 1970, but songs like "Hey Jude" and "Yesterday" remain widely popular. New Beatles song compilations have been released a number of times, most recently last month.
It wasn't until 2010 - seven years after the iTunes Music Store debuted - that Beatles songs became available as commercial downloads, in a move that attracted considerable attention.
This most recent announcement is seen as a indication that more artists and rights owners are yielding their resistance to cloud streaming, even if well-known artists like Adele or Taylor Swift remain skeptical of the practice or have rejected it outright. A long holdout, German singer-songwriter Herbert Grönemeyer consented to distribution on Apple Music earlier this month.
For rights reasons, only one music streaming provider, Pandora, will not include Beatles songs in its listings. The others will offer a large part, and perhaps the entire catalogue, just in time for the holidays. A number of tracks will even be available on Spotify's free service.