The Beatles caved, who remains an iTunes holdout?

NEW YORK (AP) - November 16, 2010

Kid Rock and Bob Seger have also refused to cave in, like holed-up gunfighters.

The Beatles have partnered with Apple Inc.'s iTunes service, ending the most prominent holdout and finally bringing one of music's most popular catalogs to the online store.

Yoko Ono invoked John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" in the news of the Beatles finally joining iTunes.

Since iTunes launched in 2001, the music industry has almost entirely gotten on board. For a long time, Led Zeppelin stayed away, but the act finally joined in 2007. Radiohead resisted, too, until 2008.

The ranks of the iTunes holdouts have gradually thinned, but the battle goes on for the remaining resisters.

Brooks, whose songs are among the most popular in country music, said he had no animosity with Apple, but nevertheless disagreed with its approach to selling music.

"They truly think that they're saving music," Brooks told reporters last year. "My hat's off to them. I looked at them right across the table with all the love in the world and told them they were killing it."

Brooks, who has a distribution deal with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s retail and online stores, has complained about iTunes' lack of flexibility in pricing and album sales. Apple last year began selling songs for 69 cents and $1.29 aside from the normal 99 cents, though album-only downloads are still discouraged.

Angus Young of AC/DC, another act with an exceptionally lucrative catalog of music, once insisted that AC/DC doesn't make singles, "we make albums."

"If we were on iTunes, we know a certain percentage of people would only download two or three songs from the album," Young told The Daily Telegraph in 2008. "We don't think that represents us musically."

Young has said AC/DC's sales haven't suffered as a result. The band's last studio album, "Black Ice," released in 2008, sold more than 6 million copies worldwide.

Kid Rock, whose new album "Born Free" was released Tuesday, has said he's resistant to the pack mentality and is suspicious of anyone who tells him that he "must" be on iTunes.

"I don't have to," Kid Rock, 39, told Billboard this month. "Because I remember being a kid when I heard a song that I liked, I would jump on the bus, ride to Detroit, get a $2.50 transfer and walk a mile to the hip-hop store to buy the new Eric B. & Rakim record. You're not going to stop people from obtaining what they want if it's available at some level."

Craig Marks, editor of Billboard, said artists holding out "place inordinate value on the album as a cohesive piece of art."

"That's nothing that Apple is going to give on," Marks told The Associated Press. "If that's the emotional reason that they're reluctant to have their music available on iTunes or available as legal downloads, I'm not sure that's going to change."

Messages left with representatives for Brooks, AC/DC and Kid Rock were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Other iTunes critics continue to do business with Apple anyway. Prince's music is available from the online retailer, but he dismissed iTunes and the Internet altogether earlier this year.

"The Internet's completely over," Prince told the Daily Mirror. "I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else."


AP Music Writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody contributed to this report

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