The New York Post reported Wednesdsay that Google and Amazon were also involved in negotiations to secure the rights to the digital catalog of the Beatles in their own stores. But in the end, Apple offered the band and its label, EMI, the best deal for bringing the content to iTunes.
The deal was reportedly spearheaded by EMI CEO Roger Faxon, who convinced the parent company of the Beatles, Apple Corps Ltd., to relent on its longstanding opposition to digital music sales. The three parties then engaged in "rapid" negotiations by the end of summer.
The exclusive agreement, which was planned to be announced the week before the holiday shopping season begins, is an exclusive deal through 2011.
"Who else are they (The Beatles) going to do a deal with?" one anonymous executive reportedly said. "Apple dominates the digital market."
Beatles songs went on sale on iTunes on Tuesday, with the band's debut celebrated with a hyped announcement from Apple. Prior to the launch, Apple on Monday teased an "exciting announcement" related to iTunes would be revealed the following day.
The songs were immediately strong sellers, with the iTunes LP for "Abbey Road" at No. 7 on the iTunes album charts as of Wednesday morning. The self-titled white album came in at No. 8, while "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was No. 10.