Official licensing for YouTube Shorts has been obtained for a selection of The Beatles’ back catalog, which includes the recently released song “Now and Then.”

In a short blog post today, YouTube Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen announced the launch of The Beatles on YouTube Shorts. The aforementioned “Now and Then,” which may not be the last Beatles song after all, created a big impression when it debuted on the second but quickly fell off the charts. It was partially produced with artificial intelligence.

READ MORE: The “Last Song” By The Beatles Is Being Released With The Help Of AI. McCartney Calls It “A Genuine Beatles Recording”

Since then, there has been a fresh attempt to reintroduce the work into the commercial spotlight, complete with Spotify banner advertising. Enter The Beatles’ licensing agreement for YouTube Shorts, whereby “Now and Then” and abridged versions of the Red and Blue Albums will appear in clips “for the very first time.”

Overall, 36 “brand new mixes” and 75 tracks are included in the aforementioned albums, which are explicitly referring to recently issued 2023 editions, based on the track listings and the applicable Big Three label. According to Cohen, there have been over one billion views of Beatles videos on YouTube to far.

The co-founder of 300 Entertainment used another section of the piece to praise YouTube Shorts for what he saw as their ability to open up catalog releases to completely new audiences.

READ MORE: According To Tony King, The Beatles’ Record Label Apple Was “Mad”

Furthermore, although certain music projects have seen increases in listenership as a result of short-form apps, the majority of these success stories appear to be tied to the extremely contentious TikTok.

Despite years of regulatory scrutiny, concerning charges, and unsettling lawsuits, the ByteDance-owned app’s viral trends have aided several acts, including many legacy musicians, in reaching new audiences. The most notable example is perhaps the soothing set of videos that included Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” As a result, the song gained a lot of traction with younger listeners.

READ MORE: The CEO Of The Recording Academy Attempts To Clarify Grammy AI Rules, Under Which The Upcoming ‘Last Beatles Record’ May Be Ineligible For Awards

The unexpected outcome was followed by catalog sales from Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie (whose estate concluded a separate transaction in October 2023), Stevie Nicks, and Mick Fleetwood, in addition to increased streaming revenue, merchandise sales, and concert attendance.

Naturally, creating a viral moment is easier said than done, but that hasn’t prevented majors and other people from trying. It will be interesting to observe in the future if The Beatles’ YouTube Shorts inclusion is successful in attracting new listeners to songs like “Now and Then.”

The song garnered 27 million views on YouTube and 20.05 million streams on Spotify as of this writing, although it wasn’t included in either of the platform’s Top 50 USA or Global playlists.


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