Interesting comments from Paul McCartney on Billboard. Places the blame for delays with the Beatles being on iTunes firmly at the feet of Apple Corp and EMI. I know that the Beatles are a really big catch in terms of profile, but is this pre-occupation with a band that stopped making music more than two decades before most teenagers were born, sending out the right message?

The legitimate paid download market has not succeeded in fighting off illegal alternatives. Nor does it show any signs of doing so anytime soon. Hence the shift of focus towards free legal alternatives such as MySpace and Comes With Music (and before anyone tells me not to call CWM “free”, even Car Phone Warehouse stated it was “free”, and for that matter “unlimited”, on a TV ad this week).

Perhaps the Beatles going digital is all that’s left that’s interesting to write about the paid download sector now that the interesting stuff is happening elsewhere and that DRM-free is taking ludicrously long. Whatever the reasons, if iTunes can eventually boast that it is “the place to download the Beatles legally online” it draws further, unwelcome distance between itself and the more youth focused alternatives. Sure, you could argue that this would represent smart segmentation of the online audience. But it’s not in anyone’s interests that kids only download for free, no one’s interests except for those of the kids of course.

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