As of today the Beatles are available on Spotify. It could be seen as a huge affirmation of the whole streaming thing, I suppose – a blow against Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke, Adele et al.
Or is it just a label bowing to the inevitable? The Beatles had a tremendous run, remaining a premium price best seller on LP then CD then LP for over 50 years. An EU directive designed to retrospectively extend recording copyright from 50 to 70 years will protect all their albums with the exception of Please Please Me for another 20 years. But by holding out against the latest ‘delivery platforms’ for as long as they did, the ‘brand’ began to fade from the zeitgeist. We oldies had already bought the CDs and it would have been difficult to persuade many of us to buy them yet again on a higher resolution format or vinyl. Maybe sales were dropping anyway, and without streaming it was clear that they would be cutting the ‘brand’ off forever from the upcoming generations.
I must stress that I don’t see the Beatles as just a ‘brand’, but I don’t think today’s youngsters view them as the peerless phenomenon that we (or at least I) did, and still do.