Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Download Fan

So according to George Harrisonís widow and to Sir Macca, the Beatles will finally be working their way onto an online music store somewhere near you by 2008, or possibly earlier. Does anybody else find this obsessing with the Fab Four a little misplaced? Granted the average age of digital music buyers is a touch on the older side compared to file sharers but would there really be so much fuss made out of this if Steve Jobs wasnít such a big fan? Heís tricked us all into thinking itís the missing piece of the jigsaw for digital music. Itís not, the missing pieces are:

ē Making all catalogue available without DRM
ē Getting pricing right
ē Freeing digital music from the PC and MP3 player

Donít get me wrong, when the Beatles go digital it will represent the filling of an important repertoire gap and clever marketing tactics will ensure that there are numerous (probably successive) Beatles number ones. But like Iíve said many times before, the labels need to be worrying about albums not singles, and how many prospective digital Beatles buyers wonít already have the albums on CD? As we have seen digital music is not driving a format replacement cycle. The only way I can see it doing so here is for those middle aged fans who bought original vinyl in the 60s or 70s and hadnít got round to buying the CDs. But letís face it, thatís not about to save the stuttering digital music marketÖ