Ping! Gets a Bump from The Beatles

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Apple's latest iTunes update includes music by the Beatles themselves.

The Beatles‘ music has finally been made available via the iTunes store, and while the music reaching a younger people is important on many levels, financially and culturally the band’s presence coincides with two new iTunes-based services, Ping! and iTunes LP.

Why simply sell music when they can sell a whole listening/social experience to compete with Facebook, Twitter, Google/YouTube and anyone else in social media or music (Spotify, MySpace) at the same time.  It’s getting competitive, and Apple Computer just kicked it up a notch by leveraging its strongest community, music/ipod/iphone/ipad with the best content ever, the Beatles themselves.

Now that the Beatles’ music has been freed from physical media, is the iTunes deal the final reissue? I don’t think so, not as long as some Guy has his Hands on the till.   The reissues are in lower fidelity than cds, but Apple is adding more graphics and video by creating the iTunes LP service, enabling listeners to view artwork associated with a certain “album.”

Ping is a social function integrated into iTunes that launched a few months ago, and iTunes LP could be brand new, considering the small number of artists in the catalog.  iTunes is getting smarter all the time – remember Apple has been scanning listening habits via its Genius for some time as well.  With all these functions in place, adding the Beatles content couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Follow the Beatles on Ping!” is among the top links in the store. I don’t expect to converse with them, but they will get more people to join. And Ping’s recent Twitter integration means a lot more people are listening to that feed. My friends (other promo people) are competitive about music, and going through Apple directly into all our record collections takes trust and makes Ping! a lot more intimate than a typical social network.

iTunes LP is a big plus for the system.  People always complained about cds having small covers, and mp3/m4a’s having none at all.   Apple TV provides the ability to project iTunes artwork onto all our screens, addressing this issue, but I’ll be really impressed when they figure out textured album covers like Close to the Edge.

What’s next for the Beatles after iTunes?  For Apple Computer, there is still King Crimson and Pink Floyd left to conquer/acquire/digitize.

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