After much speculation and lots of finger-crossing, it has been confirmed that The Beatles will start to stream their back catalogue online on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24).
Much to the disappointment of fans of the Fab Four, their music has been notably absent from streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon Prime Music for many years.
But that’s all set to change tomorrow when the first Beatles songs will be made available for fans to listen to online for free.
The group, who clocked up 17 number one singles in the U.K. charts, split up in 1970 but remain one of the most popular and influential pop bands of all time — and the decision to stream their back catalogue is a great way to ensure they reach future generations of music lovers who might not dig out their parents’ (and grandparents’) old 45s.
Other services to offer the band’s tracks to the world are Tidal, Deezer, Microsoft Grove, Napster and Slacker Radio.
The deal involves rights to stream 224 songs from the original 13 studio albums released in the U.K. as well as “essential” collections including Past Masters, reports BBC News.
“In terms of digital the Beatles have always been quite late to the party — they came to iTunes in 2010, which was a good five years after the iTunes Music Store started gaining momentum,” said Chris Cooke, co-founder of music industry news site CMU. “We had expected they would probably do an exclusive deal to stream their music with one service, but it looks like instead they are going to be pretty much everywhere from day one. So, I suppose that is them accepting that streaming is now a very serious, significant part of the record industry.”
For fans of The Beatles this could be the best Christmas present ever.