M+E Daily

iTunes Finally ‘Compleat’

As it turns out, Apple didn’t have much of a surprise in store for those who closely watch the digital space — but it’s good news nevertheless.

At long last, the Beatles have arrived at iTunes. Shoppers can purchase individual tracks ($1.29 each), albums ($12.99 each), or the band’s entire collected output ($149.99). The latter set contains the same material as record label EMI marketed last year in mono and stereo CD editions, both of which are still widely available.

The digital albums are exclusive to iTunes through some time in 2011, an EMI spokesman tells All Things D.

Without the Beatles (and a handful of other legacy acts), the iTunes store was incomplete. Sure, the notion of “completism” has evolved from 2004, when Apple introduced the digital-boxed-set concept as part of its pivotal iPod marketing partnership with U2. As any fan of the Netflix or Pandora Radio apps for iPhone/iPad would agree, today’s entertainment services want to be more complete in the breadth and depth of content they offer.

But consumer takeup of such access-oriented services is not mutually exclusive with their continuing desire to own copies of their favorite movies or music.

Today’s Apple announcement, then, is essentially in furtherance of increasing availability. And you know that can’t be bad.