Musicnet CEO Considers Impact Of McCartney Catalog Coming Online
May 17, 2007 at 3:52 PM (PT)
With news that PAUL McCARTNEY is releasing his entire solo catalog in digital form on MAY 22 (NET NEWS 5/14), BEATLES fans might have good reason to believe the FAB FOUR's complete body of work will follow. What might that mean to the industry? Quite a lot, argues MUSICNET CEO ALAN McGLADE.
"Finally adding THE BEATLES would fix an important hole in the digital catalog," he said. "The group is so central to the history of pop music that without them there has always been the perception that something fundamental was missing. Most of the great musical headliners of the past 40 years -- including THE ROLLING STONES, GRATEFUL DEAD, BOB DYLAN, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, SINATRA, even ELVIS -- have been available for digital distribution for some time. But, without THE BEATLES, there is a perceived gap in the catalog."
The Beatles' addition to the digital marketplace could act as a tipping point, motivating people who have not yet purchased a portable device to buy one.
McGLADE noted that only several other pop performers -- notably LED ZEPPELIN and GARTH BROOKS -- have not made their work available for digital distribution. "But no group spans as wide an audience, over a broader period and demographic sweep, than THE BEATLES," he said. "McCARTNEY's inclusion is likely to draw many more consumers to digital music who have previously been on the sidelines. And that audience usage has the potential to increase dramatically once the majority of BEATLES tunes became available.
"In the age of the devices, access is more important than ownership. In other words, access to a digital playlist is today what a row of record albums book-ended by bricks was a generation ago. THE BEATLES' addition to the digital marketplace could act as a tipping point, motivating people who have not yet purchased a portable device to buy one."