News: Stones Roll Out Online Tunes: “The Rolling Stones’ entire catalogue — more than 500 songs — is available, legally, on the Internet for the first time today.

The online service Rhapsody secured an exclusive deal with the band that stretches through the end of the month: All songs the Stones recorded since 1971 and released on EMI’s Virgin Records — Sticky Fingers on — are available for downloading and burning for seventy-nine cents each. All songs recorded before 1971, owned by the Stones’ notoriously close-fisted former label ABKCO, are available for streaming but not downloading.

The Stones, along with the Beatles and Michael Jackson, had been one of the last holdouts against legal digital music services. Once the deal with Rhapsody expires at the end of the month, the Stones will also offer the post-1971 tunes through other online music stores, like Apple’s iTunes and AOL’s MusicNet.”

This is very welcome news. Then again, the Stones are in a revenue maximization stage at this point in their careers. Greater availability only helps their cause. Will artists at the peek of their popularity, ahead of the release of their (first or second) greatest hits albums make their full catalogs available?

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