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The Beatles Are Coming to Apple Music, Spotify and Everywhere Else on Christmas Eve

All together now.

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Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

You can spend Christmas streaming the Beatles.

The world’s most famous band will finally be available on streaming music services, starting this Thursday, Christmas Eve. And they’ll be available very, very widely: Industry sources say that the Fab Four’s music will be on all of the obvious music services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Tidal, as well as some you might not expect, including Amazon’s Prime Music.

(Update: Here’s the full list.)

It may be shorter to list the services that won’t have access to the full catalog, on demand:

  • Pandora, which doesn’t do direct deals with music owners (for now) so it can’t do on-demand deals — but does have Beatles songs available via its Web radio service, which has various restrictions.
  • Rdio, which shut down today.

It is also worth noting that unlike Taylor Swift, the Beatles will be available on the free versions of services like Spotify. It is also worth noting that streaming is becoming the music industry’s most important music source, and has been headed that way for a while.

Last week, Billboard reported that the Beatles would start streaming on Christmas Eve.

All of that is interesting if you’re in or follow the music business, but it may be anticlimactic for normal humans, who’ve been able to listen to the Beatles via many other means for a long time. Speculating about when the Beatles would show up on iTunes was a favorite pastime for Apple and music nerds, but that game ended in 2010, and everyone seems to have moved on with their lives since then.

And, of course, you could also listen to the world’s most famous band if you went to the world’s biggest video site, which also doubles as the world’s biggest music service: YouTube has a very big selection of Beatles songs, which you can hear, right now, legally, for free.

Go on: Check it out. As per usual with YouTube, it’s a bit of a mess, but it’s fun: There’s a smattering of official, rare videos, meant to promote a new set of discs, and then nearly everything else from the band’s catalog you want to hear. You may have to do a bit of clicking, since sometimes Universal Music takes the unofficial stuff down. But not too much clicking.

Here’s an example! Enjoy:

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