TV's 'Mad Men' Pays To Play Beatles' Song

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Beatles tunes are very hard to license — the surviving band members and heirs have been choosy about who can play their songs. AMC's Mad Men made the cut. For a reported $250,000, the show was allowed to pay "Tomorrow Never Knows."


Things are rarely quiet at the fictional advertising firm of Sterling Cooper, which brings us to today's last word in business: Mad Money.


The stylish AMC television series, "Mad Men," focuses on the lives of the ad executives at Sterling Cooper in the 1960s. And critics have applauded the show for its accuracy in representing the era. But up until last Sunday's episode, it was missing one key note of authenticity: a Beatles song.

INSKEEP: That's because Beatles tunes are very hard to license. The surviving band members and their heirs have been choosy about who can play their songs. Apparently, "Mad Men" made the cut. This week, the show's main character, Don Draper, put The Beatles' "Revolver" LP on a record player - heard of those - and cued up the song "Tomorrow Never Knows."

GREENE: The price for that authentic moment: reportedly, $250,000. A spokeswoman for Lions Gate, the studio that produces the show, wouldn't confirm the price, but did say that it was the most expensive music deal the studio had ever made.

INSKEEP: Which means The Beatles will not likely be getting the kind of heavy rotation on "Mad Men" that they had on '60s radio.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

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