The Beatles and the iTunes: pure marketing genius

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I mean it has to be Steve Jobs’es pure marketing genius streak, otherwise how can you blow up a completely irrelevant non-event into this giant mega-gala announcement that’s supposed to be unforgettable and all? Front page of Apple.com being occupied by a band that hasn’t released a new album since… well… a very long time ago!

And what is even more amazing to me is the fact that among subdued “Meh” and “Beatles? Really?” reactions of public there is a sizable amount of people who seem to be quite excited. I suppose part is those who will enthusiastically endorse anything Steve Jobs declares to be super-cool (probably same people who did fast turn-around from claiming how slow and silly Intel CPUs are compared to PowerPC to how wonderful this new Intel-based compatible hardware is), but some others don’t seem to fall into “Everything Jobs” category at all.

How do you explain all this enthusiasm about an iTune release of a famous, ground-breaking for its time, and firmly belonging in an oldies radio playlist band? Didn’t Yoko Ono gripe about bad digital audio quality and “an element that we are not very happy about” in August? I suppose that element was money, given the price of freshly released albums on iTunes compared to a CD you can pick up on eBay for about $5.

Everyone who is even remotely a fan of the Beatles must have already bought one if not two or three different formats of the albums — LPs, tape cassettes, CDs… Are fans really going to run out to their wireless access points and buy yet another version, this time directly on the iPod Touch or iPhone? Well, maybe the most absent-minded ones, who not only displaced their CDs but also kept forgetting to have iTunes convert the disks into easily portable (maybe lossless?) format for the player.

Aside from a chance of giving more money to the Apple and corresponding rights-holders what else could it be?

I heard an argument that it’s a way to introduce the “next generation” to the music of the Beatles. I suppose. There certainly were people who, for example, didn’t listen to their parent’s music because it was only on LPs (lame!) and couldn’t be stuffed into a walkman. But come on, do you really think that now kids couldn’t get mom or dad to play for them an MP3? Or put out a song on speakers from that CD? I thought so.

Just because now the Beatles are as easily obtainable on the iTunes as a soundtrack of the latest vampire TV series doesn’t mean the new demographics will rush out to buy them. It’s nice to think that parents can expand (okay, “push” must be more appropriate word) their music choices to the kids thanks to iTunes, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Music is available right now, all that is lacking is a desire to listen to it.

So, aside from loud victory in prolonged battle of the Apple Inc vs the Apple Records, nothing of real importance was announced. No cloud storage. No unlimited music subscription for a reasonable price. I hope next Apple’s iTunes event will really be unforgettable and important. As one of my friends noted “Way to stay relevant, Apple!”. And if you haven’t noticed, that was a sarcasm.

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