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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Apple unveils Beatles’ music on iTunes

Major announcement ends legendary band’s absence from music store, squanders other rumors

It’s the big announcement that wasn’t. 

This morning, Apple Corps made a highly anticipated announcement. The music of the Beatles will be available for sale on Apple’s iTunes Music Store.

The leading online music store has never carried the entire Beatles catalog.  They released 13 studio albums along with a variety of extra content and live shows for immediate download.  The store is also offering a complete box set of the entire Beatles collection for $149.

“It has been a long and winding road to get here,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a press release. “Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago.”

Yet, this was not the announcement many were expecting.

Earlier this week technology blogs and rumor mills like Engadget, MacRumors and Gizmodo were buzzing over Apple’s announcement Tuesday, expecting the unveiling of a “cloud-based” music sales and access system. 

The rumor was fueled by several factors.  Apple’s recent construction of a major data center in North Carolina led the discussion on the various tech blogs.  The center is expected to cost more than $1 billion and would be the backbone of a “cloud” based music program, according to posts from 

Both Apple’s and iTunes’ main Web sites had new banners up showcasing the announcement.  Individual songs are available for $1.29, double albums will cost $19.99 and full albums will go for $12.99. 

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