File this under “if everybody else is doing it, we may as well be doing it as well.” After years of resistance, the Beatles have finally given into the temptation (or have adapted to the times) and have allowed the songs of their #1 album to be sold as ring tones. Though this would have been in news in 2006, it still stings a bit.
To me, the Beatles holding out was one of the last bastions of rock purity. Yes, there are a few bands left who are fighting completely digitizing their music (AC/DC comes to mind), but for the lads from Liverpool putting out their music in this fashion means that the digital revolution is almost complete and there's no turning back or any sense hiding from out now. Buying music online is not only an accepted practice, but in a few years, I wouldn't be surprised if it's the only way to purchase music. Having your music available on iTunes or Amazon is fine and dandy, but ringtones? I don't think I've heard an adult have a ringtone in years (and that's who I think EMI is targeting with this release).
Don't mistake this as me lamenting against the evils of technology and
how iTunes or Amazon have destroyed the business of music, it hasn't.
Digital media service providers has been a blessing. Monetizing the sale of MP3s is the way to go because let's face it, if you like
the music or are a fan, you're going to pay for an album. Just look at
how well Lady Gaga's last album did when it was on Amazon for a cut-rate
price as an example.
But why would the Beatles decided to release their music on this platform in 2012 when the ringtone phenomenon faded years ago? In my experience, it seems like the only people who buy ringtones now are teenagers, who aren't exactly the target demographic for the Beatles. Most (keyword: most) kids in the ringtone demo would rather have a Katy Perry or Lady Gaga ringtone than “Can't Buy Me Love” or “Yellow Submarine.” Hopefully I'm grossly underestimating the musical tastes of our youth, but for the most part, I don't think I am.
The issue I have with these songs being available as ringtones is the timing. Why now? The Beatles catalog has been available on iTunes since November 2010 and the only possible reason I could think of why they'd release #1 as a ringtones is because of the company's bottom line. Everyone knows the Beatles will sell no matter what forum or platform. That was demonstrated when vinyl records became CDs and CDs turned into MP3s. I'm just disappointed that if EMI was going to roll out the Fab Four's catalog, it would have been sooner than later.
Overall, hearing these songs as ringtones I suppose isn't the worst thing in the world. I'm sure the first time I hear one of these songs on someone's phone, I'm going to be relieved it's not one of the ringtone rapper's that have made the significance and artistic integrity of the forum irrelevant. That being said, I guess this is my Clint Eastwood Gran Torino moment when I wax poetic about the past and I know it's not going to change anything, so it's time to get used to a whole new world where if you don't have your music available digitally, then you're an outcast.