The Beatles earn more than Madonna, Kanye

Ignore Madonna and Kanye West, one of the biggest-earning names in music this past year wasn’t a contemporary act, but digital music refuseniks, The Beatles.

The two surviving members of the band along with the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison received £35.1 million in dividends from Apple Corps, The Times reports.

The four parties are the main shareholders in the company, which has been handling the interests of the bands since the ’60’s. Madonna earned £27.4 million while West trousered $30 million up until June 2008, the report claims.

“There continues to be strong demand for Beatles albums, which are not legally available for download on websites such as iTunes,” the report explains.

Paul McCartney recently disclosed some obstacles to making music from the band available through iTunes and other online services, saying, “We are very for it, we’ve been pushing it. But there are a couple of sticking points, I understand. So the last word I got back was that it had stalled, the whole process…They [EMI] want something we’re not prepared to give them.”

Apple Corps. disclosed these figures in its account for the year up until January 2008, a period in which the company generated £56.4 million in profits. The band were the fifth biggest-earning beat combo behind Beyonce. Jay-Z, The Police and 50 Cent.

Interestingly, the accounts also reveal that profits in the period were derived from profit on the sale of fixed assets. We speculate if Apple Inc’s deal with Apple Corps to end outstanding litigation between the two Apples helped boost results the period?

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