December 23, 2015 / 5:44 AM / 2 years ago

Let it stream: The Beatles comes to online music services

Ringo Starr's iconic 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three-piece drum kit used to record some of The Beatles biggest hits is seen in an undated handout picture courtesy of Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California. REUTERS/Courtesy of Julien's Auctions/Handout via Reuters

(Reuters) - Here, there and everywhere - and now on streaming services too.

Starting Christmas eve, all of The Beatles’ 13 albums, including “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Revolver” and “Abbey Road”, will finally be available on some of the most popular streaming services.

"Happy Crimble, with love from us to you," The Beatles said on its website, referring to a term popularized by John Lennon to describe Christmas. (bit.ly/1O9bmvw)

The streaming services playing the Fab Four’s music include Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Amazon Prime Music, the band confirmed on its website.

Streaming services have been involved in legal spats with the music industry and broadcasters - songs recorded before 1972 are not covered by U.S. federal copyright laws, but bands and recording labels have been seeking protection and royalties under state laws.

The Beatles, themselves, had been involved in long-winding disputes, particularly with Apple Inc, and have held off from making their music available on streaming services.

The band has worried that the valuable song catalog could be devalued by selling individual songs or by an increased potential for digital piracy.

“The Beatles are the most iconic band in music history and their catalog is the #1 request from our subscribers around the world,” said Ethan Rudin, chief financial officer of music streaming service Rhapsody International.

Pandora Media Inc already has the band’s songs on its online radio service, but with various restrictions.

The Billboard magazine reported last week that Beatles' music was coming to a streaming service, but did not specify which one. Re/code later reported that the music would be available on all major streaming services. (bit.ly/1UPPma6)

Unlike artists such as Adele, Coldplay and Taylor Swift, who decided to not release some of their singles to the free versions of music streaming services, ‘The Beatles’ will be available for free to its users, Re/code said.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are the only remaining members of the band, which split up in 1970. Lennon was shot dead in New York in 1980 and George Harrison died of cancer in 2001.

Reporting by Sneha Teresa Johny in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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