Today Apple made the long awaited announcement that the Beatles will in fact be joining the itunes catalog. This is such an interesting story because of the legal battle through the years these two icons have been engaged in over the most simple company name imaginable. For those who may not know the history be sure to read up on the wiki version of events. The most fascinating part to me is that in 1981 Apple Computers settled with Apple Records (owned by the Beatles) under the understanding that Apple Computers would stay out of the music business and Apple Records would stay out of the computer business. No one could dream that thirty years later Apple Computers main business is music. Perhaps that’s why the announcement today seems so historical. How things have changed.
So what’s the future of music? Will the future be profitable? If anyone can find a way to make it profitable it’s Steve Jobs. My opinion is that streaming music is where we go from here. Personally I can’t live without Pandora and I can’t remember the last time I downloaded or purchased an album other than from an independent artist at a coffee shop. Social networking seems to be on Apple’s list with the not so successful launch of Ping. But what is the next “cassette” or “ipod” out there?