For the first time, The Beatles' publisher has licensed a song by the Fab Four for use in China. "Hey Jude" appears in Yesterday Once More, a coming-of-age film from noted Chinese director Yao Tingting. The nearly four-minute synch, which features the two Chinese leads singing the 1968 classic in English, commanded a six-figure sum, believed to be one of the highest fees ever paid for usage in China.
The Beatles ask came in through the Beijing office of publishing company Sony/ATV and was funneled to Esther Friedman, senior vp film and TV music, who thought, "It was perfect for The Beatles," she says.
"The studio, Beijing Enlight Media, is one of the largest media groups in China, and the director is of significance." Plus, she adds, with the film aimed at a younger demographic with its story of high school friends grappling with the complexities of first loves, it can help introduce The Beatles' music to a new audience. "That always plays into the decision," she adds. "It was a compelling reason to say yes to this one."