Well, this was unexpected. In the wake of rumors that Apple Music would get exclusive streaming of The Beatles’ entire catalog starting on Christmas Day, a miracle has occurred: The Beatles will indeed be available for streaming. On Microsoft Groove.
Yes, yes. It’s not just Groove. You can also access The Beatles’ catalog—17 remastered albums in total, including 13 studio albums plus 4 special collections—from Amazon Prime, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play Music, Slacker, Spotify and Tidal too. But come on. Groove is actually in the mix for a change. That’s huge.
“On December 24 at 12:01 local time—here, there and everywhere—The Beatles’ music is available for streaming worldwide via [numerous music] services,” an announcement on The Beatles’ web site notes. “The Beatles streaming will be LIVE at [midnight] YOUR TIME and you can track its progress around the world, from east to west, on the globe here at thebeatles.com.”
In case you’ve not been following the drama, The Beatles appeared first, and exclusively, on iTunes in 2010 after settling a decades-long dispute with Apple (over the name Apple) in 2007. But when Apple delivered its Apple Music streaming service, The Beatles were noticeably absent. So you could buy The Beatles’ music on iTunes only. But you couldn’t stream it anywhere.
Over the past few weeks, rumors emerged that The Beatles would be made available for streaming, starting on or around Christmas Day, but again only on Apple. Today, we learned that’s not exactly the case. The Beatles are no longer exclusive to Apple, for both purchases and streaming. So we have one less reason to stick with iTunes.
“This marks a historical moment for the music industry, and digital music – this is the first time that The Beatles’ music has been made available for streaming and Microsoft is honored to be a part of it,” a Microsoft announcement notes. “Beginning on December 24 at 12:01 am local time in your country, you will be able to stream 17 of The Beatles’ albums on Microsoft Groove with a Groove Music Pass, even purchase the albums if you wish from the Windows Store. And for a limited time you will be able to buy the albums for 30 percent off!”
A few notes.
That sale price extends to all 17 Beatles albums, which will be made available at 30 percent off of regular prices from December 24 through January 15, 2016.
The 17 album figure includes 13 (original UK) studio albums plus 4 special collections, all of which are remastered. These are:
Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles For Sale
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
Let It Be
The Beatles 1962 – 1966
The Beatles 1967 – 1970
Past Masters (Volumes 1 & 2)
I already own all of these—I bought 15 of the 17 listed albums when they became available on CD a few years back and then the remastered 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 albums (favorites of mine growing up) from iTunes. But if you’ve been holding out because you don’t want to give Apple any more money—completely understandable–this is a great time to jump in digitally with the most influential band in the history of music.