Friday, March 07, 2008

Daily Mail tries to get to grips with downloads

The procession of the Beatles catalogue to the download market has been a long one, taking a tortuous route that included going twice round the Apple Records/Apple computers name. The one thing that hasn't been influencing the timing of when the songs appear online, though, is the financial status of the band and their surviving relatives.

And yet, readers of the Daily Mail are being told, confidently:

Sir Paul puts Beatles £200m back catalogue online to pay for his costly divorce

Yes, according to the Mail, the only reason The Beatles are finally making it online is because Paul is short of a few quid to pay off Heather.

But if Paul was short of cash, wouldn't that be to his advantage, as he could show the courts that he's down to his last ten quid, and so Heather couldn't expect more than a fiver? Wouldn't it be foolish to flog the online catalogue before the settlement?

And would Yoko really take a call from Paul saying 'can we flog Love Me Do on the iTunes so I can get shot of the Mills?' and happily agree?

The Mail does seem to have at least thought of the first possible objection:
This could lift Ms Mills's expectation of the divorce settlement to beyond £30 million, on the basis that Sir Paul's future income should be taken into account.

It raises the prospect she could appeal if she feels the judge has not considered the online deal properly.

But then the Mail doesn't really know what it's talking about:
Containing albums such as Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the White Album and Help!, it will be by far the most prized music catalogue released via the internet, worth up to £200 million, according to some estimates.

It is expected to dominate the download charts for many months.

Worth 200 million quid? That would imply somewhere in the region of 253 million downloads - that would certainly "dominate" the download charts, it's true. But is that really likely? Where is the massive demand for Beatles tracks going to come from - from people who really, really like them, but haven't quite got round to downloading them off the peer-to-peer or ripping them from their own CDs? Is that such a large group, Daily Mail?


2 comments:

Tim Footman said...

And what an odd selection of albums to mention: Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (fair nuff), the White Album (because all Mail readers love Revolution No 9); and, er, the cobbled together soundtrack for their self-indulgent second movie, which they all hated.

Robin Carmody said...

And which contains the egregious "It's Only Love", possibly the worst thing they ever did, and even a rudimentary cover of "Dizzy Miss Lizzy". Momentarily - not many people realise this, but Ian MacDonald and Tony Wilson did - they were running the risk of seriously falling off in the summer of 1965, becoming outmoded and (artistically) irrelevant. At the time I think they were aware of this - hence, as you say, their disdain for 'Help!'. They knew they had to change, and they did.

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