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Saturday, October 31, 2009

BlueBeat streaming and selling Beatles albums digitally

We have to admit, we’re baffled by this one. BlueBeat is a US-based site offering high-quality streams of full albums, as well as downloads for $0.25 a track. Its Facebook page promises to “stop the insanity of overpriced online music”, but it appears licensing deals aren’t on its agenda.

How do we know? Well, it’s streaming and selling the Beatles back catalogue for starters, with albums like Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band available for $3.25 as MP3s. AC/DC albums are also being sold and streamed on the service – another digital refusenik.

BlueBeat is apparently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Media Rights Technologies, a Californian firm run by Hank Risan, chairman of the Museum of Musical Instruments. The site and company has been around for years in different forms, but its latest incarnation doesn’t seem to have aroused the wrath of the music industry.

Well, not yet, anyway. But if they went after Grooveshark (and on this side of the pond, AllOfMP3), we sense they may be firing off letters to BlueBeat soon too.

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