The somewhat surprising news that The Beatles had agreed to allow streaming of their music that was officially announced Dec. 23 began an interesting debate among fans about whether this was a big deal or it was nothing much at all. The announcement said the group’s music would be available on Amazon Prime, Spotify, Apple Music, Slacker, Tidal, Groove, Rhapsody, Deezer and Google Play.
“I mainly use Spotify to listen to music,” said Jonathan M. Klein, who supported the move. “It’s nice to have Beatles available on that rather than import CDs. I can listen on the app on the go as well. I just wish ‘The Beatles Anthology’ and ‘Live at the BBC’ were also included.” There has been speculation that more Beatles albums could be added in the future to those already being streamed.
“It’s huge for me!,” said Veda Lynn Anglin. “I love my vinyl records but due to work and university I spend most of my life in my car with a broken CD player, so it is has been my favorite Christmas present this year to be able to listen to my favorite music in my car through my phone without using up all my data.” “Yes!,” said Ceil Scatena Bortolai. “Love to listen on long walks. Don’t have an iPod.”
On the other hand, some say they’re not getting really excited about this. “I already have multiple versions of every song they have ever recorded so streaming is not really useful to me,” said Karrie Bota. “I also use Pandora and have a Beatles station so I still get to listen to their music that way and I listen to Beatles radio which has everything recorded and more.”
But even though some won’t make use of it, many recognize it’s a good fit for younger listeners. “I already have all their music,” Larry Wellhausen said. “I guess it’s nice for those who don’t.” “I don’t listen to steaming music but I think it’s great that it’s finally out there for the younger generations,” said Jay Schulman. “The Beatles have finally realized that they’ve milked all they can out of the traditional means of selling music,” said Maggie Clarke, “and (they) know that to get the younger people to buy, they need to hear it first on streaming. It’s the modern day headphones in the record store.”
Variety reported Dec. 26 that “Come Together,” “Hey Jude” and “Here Comes the Sun” were the most popular Beatles songs streamed in the first two days in the U.S. on Spotify. Internationally, the three top songs were slightly different: “Come Together,” “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude.” The service also reported 65 percent of the listeners on Spotify were under age 34, which means they were born after the group split up, and that Beatles music was added to more than 673,000 play lists in the first two days.
Meanwhile, over at iTunes, where The Beatles first became available for legal downloads in 2010 and their albums continue to be sold digitally, the Beatles are still actually doing well enough to have 10 of them ranked in the first 100 discs on the Top Albums chart as of 6 p.m. ET Saturday. In the first 100, it’s “1” at No. 3, “Abbey Road” at No. 15, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” at No. 20, “The Beatles (White Album)” at No. 23, “Rubber Soul” at No. 26, “1967 – 1970 (The Blue Album)” at No. 37, “Revolver” at No. 38, “1962 – 1966 (The Red Album)” at No. 45, “Let It Be” at No. 71, “Magical Mystery Tour” at No. 74 and “Help!” at No. 92.
Following in the second 100 are “A Hard Day’s Night” at No. 109, “Please Please Me” at No. 115, “With the Beatles” at No. 137, “The Beatles Box” of all their original studio albums, the “Past Masters” collection, mini-documentaries on each album and the 1964 Washington Coliseum concert video at No. 155 and “Beatles For Sale” at No. 179.
Some observers called the Beatles the biggest streaming holdout, but they are not the only ones who have resisted and there are some who still haven’t moved over. These include Prince and Pete Townshend, according to USA Today.