Apple TV: Meet the Beatles. New channel celebrates 50 years since US debut


Apple has created a dedicated channel for The Beatles in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. appearance of the 60s pop group on The Ed Sullivan Show. The show footage is available “for a limited time,” and you can listen to the U.S. albums which are also available on iTunes for the first time … 

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While Apple was able to secure iTunes deals with five major music labels when it launched in 2003, it was not able to reach agreement with The Beatles’ record company, Apple Records, because the two had been involved in a long-running dispute over ownership of the Apple brand.

The dispute was settled in 2007, but The Beatles catalog didn’t come to iTunes until late in 2010, when the launch was an immediate success, at one point making up a quarter of the top 200 songs on iTunes, and helping reverse a decade-long decline in music sales.


Apple used a clip from that first performance in its ad announcing the arrival of the group on iTunes.

Steve Jobs was a noted fan of The Beatles, even describing them as a model for Apple’s business.

My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other’s negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.

It had initially looked like The Beatles wouldn’t feature on iTunes Radio, eventually being added just a few days before the launch of iOS 7.

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  1. I’m getting rather tired of this Beatles stuff all the time. Just because Steve Jobs loved them so much, dosen’t mean the rest of us do and its overly overly way too much focus on just this one group! And they’re not even around anymore!
    Give us some “dedication” to other groups or artists, why no focus on “Beethoven weekend” or something more inspiring?
    Apple is very biased in this regard and I don’t like it.
    Change it!

    • aeronperyton - 9 years ago

      Apple frequently says they ally themselves with “The Arts”, but what they mean is “The Modern Arts”.

      Not Beethoven and Vincent Van Gogh, but The Beatles and Andy Warhol. Not the Renaissance, but the Counter-Culture Revolution and the Equal Rights Movement. Typically, what arts and major turning points in culture that have occurred within Apple’s lifetime as a comp– as an idea.

      • i don’t have a problem with the artistic ideology. I like that Apple embrace equal rights movements and that part.
        I have a problem with the overly heavy promotion of Beatles. Down to a simple fact that its because it was Steve Jobs favourite band.

    • I don’t think you understand how big the Beatles still are after 50 years. It’s a very impressive feat. It’s like their music is timeless. Im not saying Beethoven is not timeless either, because he is, and many composers too. Its not only that Steve Jobs liked the Beatles, but yesterday marked the anniversary of a very important date in the history of popular music. Just because you don’t like them as much doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t either.

      • Beatles aren’t a big a thing as many would have you believe. Thanks to this kind of promoting(from Apple), how can the Beatles ever be laid to rest?
        I have nothing against Beatles as a band and yes they had an impact on music and all that. Full respect for that.
        My problem stems that theres absolutely no need to over-saturate Apple users with Beatles propaganda each time we open iTunes or click on a link from Apple.
        Can Apple please just leave it alone now and move on.
        its worse than commercials on TV or the 15 second advertisements from YouTube for crying out loud!

    • Rick Buswell - 9 years ago

      You would have had to grow up in the sixties when their music was new to understand the impact the beatles had.The beatles have sold 600 MILLION TO 1 BILLION records while pink floyd and led zepplin have sold 200 to 300 million.Only elvis is close. .You may not like their music but facts dont lie.The Beatles are the most popular,suscessful band of all time.It stands to reason that they would get the most attention

  2. aeronperyton - 9 years ago

    There must be a lot of people chomping at the bit at Apple waiting for the next major AppleTV to come out. It’s pretty clear that Apple wants to do so many more things with it than they already are. They don’t want us to see AppleTV as a box, they want us to see it as a channel that not only let’s you call up stuff on demand but periodically delivers stuff to you with intent (iTunes Music Festival, Keynotes, product announcements, etc).

    I wonder if that’s what Jobs meant by “cracked it”? Not in what kind of hardware to create, but in what way to deliver content to the people who had that hardware. 99% of the time, you are doing your own thing. You are listen to whatever you want, watching whatever you want, doing whatever… then a little notification pops up and asks you to stop what you’re doing and be one of the first to see the latest iSomething from Apple in action. Naturally you want to join the fun. Then when it’s over, “Thanks for hanging out with us this morning, we’re sending you back to that TV episode you were watching before we cut in. Have a great day.”

  3. Winski - 9 years ago

    This is positive ONLY if all the Apple TV content Is FREE !! Otherwise, you’re wasting time on my platform…


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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