iTunes Reaches $400 Million Beatles Agreement

In one of the largest agreements in music history, iTunes and Paul McCartney have reached an agreement to distribute the Beatles’ back catalog on the Apple service.

Following the $400 million formal agreement, British singer Paul McCartney officially sanctioned the Internet download music service to offer the band’s musical hits from albums such as Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, families of late Beatles stars George Harrison and John Lennon will also receive a substantial portion of the iTunes profits.

In addition, portions of the payout also go to pop singer Michael Jackson, along with the EMI and Sony recording groups, who each own certain Beatles recording or publishing rights.

Rumors surfaced last week that Michael Jackson was forcing the iTunes-Beatles deal in a successful attempt to secure his Neverland Ranch, which will go up for auction on March 18.

iTunes is now the 2nd largest music store after Wal-Mart Stores. As of January 9, 2008, over 4 billion songs have been downloaded from the music service since its initial launch on April 28, 2003.

Apple iTunes most single day has been 20 million songs downloaded.