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Despite big licensing wins, names like The Beatles, Prince & Garth Brooks absent from Apple Music

Apple Music has turned around many artists who previously opposed streaming— Radiohead's In Rainbows made its subscription debut on the service, for instance— but there are still a number of notable holdouts, including Apple favorite The Beatles.




The Beatles are a surprising omission, given that Apple fought for years to make their music available on iTunes, where it remains today. There's no word on why they were left out, but it's worth noting that most of former Beatles bassist Paul McCartney's recent catalog is also conspicuously absent.

Joining John, Paul, George, and Ringo on the outside, as noted by Macworld, are superstars like Prince and Garth Brooks. With limited and rare exception, they've never offered content for streaming on any service, earning veto power thanks to their long and successful careers.

It is possible that Apple might eventually sway Prince's opinion in the same way they did with Brian Johnson of AC/DC and Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Apple Music is thought to pay around 1.5 percentage points more than competitors like Spotify, and does not offer a free tier that some artists believe devalues their music.

Apple already holds considerable sway in the music industry thanks to the colossal success of iTunes, and the addition of label heavyweight Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr. Dre— whose The Chronic, widely considered the greatest rap album in history, also made its streaming debut on Apple Music— only deepens its influence.

The company deftly avoided a potential catastrophe in the run-up to Apple Music's launch when it reversed an earlier decision not to pay royalties during the three-month trial period. This prompted angry responses from independent labels that represent the likes of Adele and Jack White as well as a blog smackdown from pop megastar Taylor Swift.

They both came around quickly after Apple relented, and Apple Music is now the only streaming service that offers Swift's blockbuster 1989 album. It's not clear why other artists like Prince continue to withhold their discographies, but at least for the moment Apple is still fighting in the same war as Spotify.