LAS VEGAS -- As soon as he took the helm at TouchTunes Interactive Networks some three years ago, Charles Goldstuck promised music operators that he would help build a world-class music catalog for digital jukeboxes. That undertaking reached its highest point on March 13 when the jukebox company's president and chief executive announced that The Beatles' music has been licensed to play on TouchTunes jukeboxes.
The Beatles come to TouchTunes 16 months after the group's back-catalog finally arrived on iTunes, and three weeks after it became available as authorized ringtones. TouchTunes and Apple are the only digital music companies authorized to manage The Beatles music. It will be available on TouchTunes' network of 53,000 jukeboxes on April 1. The digital music provider has a two-year exclusive for The Beatles in the jukebox space.
TouchTunes has partnered with Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music to obtain the rights to play The Beatles' on jukeboxes. The agreement includes all 13 studio albums and the two-volume "Past Masters" compilation, the classic "Red" and "Blue" collections, the "1" hits collection and the "LOVE" album.
"It is a privilege to partner with EMI and Apple Corps to make available the sound recordings of the most celebrated band of all time," Goldstuck said. "The important addition of The Beatles to our network represents a milestone, not only for our company, but for our industry."
London-based Apple Corps. was founded by The Beatles in 1968 to oversee the group's affairs. It has administered the catalog of The Beatles releases, which have sold more than 600 million records, tapes and CDs to date. The Beatles signed a record deal with EMI in the 1960s.
The Fab Four have sold about 300 million albums worldwide, some 177 million in the United States alone, but the band has been known for its absence in the digital space before it appeared on iTunes in late 2010. As a result of the TouchTunes deal, jukebox operators will now be able to offer The Beatles at bars and restaurants.
The Beatles are among several hard-to-sign artists for the digital realm, who are also key jukebox acts. Others include Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett and AC/DC, which are all available on TouchTunes.