According to several sources, Apple made no up-front pay ment to EMI as part of the deal. Although the financial terms weren’t disclosed, Apple typi cally gets a 30-cent cut of every $1.29 download.
That would leave 99 cents for EMI, which in turn has to give a piece to publishing partners and royalty holders.
Industry insiders estimate EMI will pay 9 cents to music publisher Sony/ATV, a joint venture between Sony Corp. and the estate of Michael Jackson that holds the rights to more than 200 songs written by Lennon and McCartney. Universal Music Publishing holds the rights to other Beatles songs.
That would leave EMI with around 90 cents. While no one knows the precise split with the Beatles, industry in siders believe EMI made a gen erous 50-50 split in order to get the band on board. If that’s the case, EMI would take 45 cents, leaving the band members or their estates with 11 cents each per song download.
In an indication of just how much the economics of the music business have changed, back in the Eighties when the Beatles finally agreed to make their music available on CD, each Beatle got a dollar for every CD sold. Music watchers will have to wait until next Wednesday, when SoundScan sales figures are released, to find out whether the Beatles’ digital sales push them into the charts.