The Hidden Meaning Of The Rolling Stones-Quoting Apple Event Invitation

Next Wednesday is 09.09.09—a big day for the music business thanks to the release of the remastered Beatles catalog on CD, as well as the Fab Four’s very own, very splashy installment in the Rock Band franchise. So why would Apple schedule a big event for that day, and why would said event be presaged by an invitation with an old-school iPod silhouette-dancer and a slightly mangled Rolling Stones lyric? Is it to throw everyone off the Beatles-on-iTunes scent, or something more sinister? Hmm. Hmmm! [Ars Technica]

  • Chris Molanphy

    I have a cockamamie prediction, which I want to get down here on the infinitesimal chance I’m partially right. (You’ll have to take my word on this, but in late ’06 I partially correctly predicted to my friends the form factor the iPhone would take.)

    Anyway, here it is:

    The bulk of the keynote will be Phil Schiller and/or sundry other Apple execs talking about new iPods (higher capacities, built-in cameras, etc.). But then the “One More Thing” is Steve Jobs taking the stage.

    He brags that iTunes is the nation’s top music retailer, selling XX billion songs, etc. But that Apple is ready to push iTunes further into selling albums, recreating the experience of the album as unified work, etc. (cf. All the Billboard and other rumor stories about the labels teaming with Jobs for the album initiative).

    But to really experience an album, Jobs says, you need something larger and more substantial to hold in your hand. That’s one of many reasons Apple is announcing the new Apple Tablet, coming to stores in 1Q10 (there’s precedent for this — e.g., Jobs announcing the iPhone in Jan. 07, didn’t hit stores till June).

    “And what better way to launch a new iTunes Album Store than with the Greatest Albums of All Time,” says Jobs. Cue Sgt. Pepper or Revolver music, and Paul McCartney walks out on stage.

    Jobs and/or Macca explain that the Beatles wanted to wait on iTunes until it delivered the kind of “album experience” Pepper codified in the ’60s. (Totally plausible reason why the Beatles have waited – cf. the Times piece on Beatles: Rock Band, in which it was revealed that Beatles music could only be purchased by album.)

    Jobs announces Beatles albums are finally coming to iTunes — album-only downloads today, by song later, when the new tablet is introduced in January. Crowd goes wild, flashbulbs pop.

    Hey, I said it was cockamamie! But how cool would it be if I’m even a little bit right?