Apple bring the Beatles to iTunes, Girl Talk give album away for free: which announcement is more important?

They haven’t been sold on any online music store but that’s hardly a problem if you’re the most succesful band in the world and made your bucks back in the days when people used to pay for music.

But – it seems like the Beatles are finally coming to iTunes. Steve Jobs is making an announcement later today at 3pm GMT and that’s what he is expected to tell us. Steve’s thunder has been stolen by a Wall Street Journal story leaking the announcement, but still this is a nice coup for iTunes.

It’s an interesting contrast to another piece of news from the music industry this week – American remixer Girl Talk released his new album for free download here. Girl Talk is a mix of samples picked up from all over and often unauthorized so I guess the free give and take of internet distribution makes sense for artist Gregg Gillis, but he must have some revenue streams in mind.

Girl Talk is much smaller and less influential than the Beatles of course, but the Girl Talk announcement is much more telling about the future of music than this Beatles one. Because let’s face it- anyone who wants a Beatles track will have brought one long ago. These days people just don’t spend in the same way.

See also: Our Copy-Paste Culture and why plagiarism isn’t such a problem anymore…

Anna Leach