NOV. 16, 2010— -- Beatles fans, your wait is over.
After years of holding out, the legendary rock band finally struck a deal with Apple to bring the Beatles' music to iTunes.
In an announcement today that covered the entire front page of Apple's website, the company said: "The Beatles. Now on iTunes."
"We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a news release. "It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we've had since we launched iTunes 10 years ago."
Apple, Apple Corps and EMI said that the Beatles' 13 remastered studio albums would be available on iTunes. A special digital "Beatles Box Set," including the "Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964" concert film, is also available online.
"We're really excited to bring the Beatles' music to iTunes," Sir Paul McCartney said in a statement. "It's fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around."
Apple said that each of the albums, including "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Revolver," "The Beatles [The White Album]" and "Abbey Road," comes with iTunes LPs and a mini-documentary about the creation of each album.
The albums are available for $12.99 each, double albums cost $19.99 to download and individual songs cost $1.29 each.
"I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes," Ringo Starr said. "At last, if you want it -- you can get it now -- the Beatles from Liverpool to now. Peace and Love, Ringo."
"In the joyful spirit of 'give peace a chance,' I think it is so appropriate that we are doing this on John's 70th birthday year," Yoko Ono Lennon said.
Apple Teased Announcement With Cryptic Message
Apple teased the major announcement Monday with a cryptic message on its homepage telling visitors that ""Tomorrow is just another day. That you'll never forget. Check back here tomorrow for an exciting message from iTunes."
Since the message hit the Web, bloggers and analysts had bubbled over with speculation. Some thought Apple might announce a cloud-based music service. Others expected Apple to introduce a subscription plan. Monday evening, citing anonymous sources, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple planned to carry the Beatles' catalogue.
Tim Bajarin, an analyst with the Silicon Valley-based technology firm Creative Strategies, said the addition of the Beatles' music to iTunes could be a symbolic milestone for Apple.
"It is a very significant point in music's history given the fact that the Beatles have for the last 15 years, held back on digital rights," he said. "This gives Apple a rather interesting opportunity to bring the Beatles to a very large audience; to a direct digital audience."