Beatles end streaming boycott in time for Christmas

The Beatles. (Photo: Twitter)
The Beatles. (Photo: Twitter)

London - The Beatles, the top-selling band in musical history yet a persistent holdout on new technology, announced on Wednesday they would end a boycott of streaming in time for Christmas.

The Fab Four's full catalogue will be available on all major services including leader Spotify, removing the most glaring musical absence from the booming sector of streaming that allows unlimited on-demand music online.

The website of The Beatles - who have sold some 600 million albums worldwide - announced the move in a short video that featured a medley of the band's hits including Let It Be, Hey Jude and Help!

"Happy Crimble, with love from us to you," said a statement, employing a slang term for Christmas used by The Beatles.

The Beatles catalogue started streaming at 00:01 on Christmas Eve local time in each region of the world.

Ringo Starr, one of two surviving Beatles along with Paul McCartney, mentioned the streaming news on Twitter with a slew of emojis, a means of expression more in line with a younger generation.

"We are coming to you from out of the blue," Starr wrote, adding, "Peace and love peace love."

The Beatles were the top-selling and one of the most critically acclaimed groups of all time, releasing 13 studio albums.

Despite The Beatles' phenomenal success, the band has repeatedly taken a slow approach to new technology.

The streaming announcement came just five years after the Liverpool-born group's back catalogue was first made available for purchase on Apple's iTunes.