Sir Paul Picks HP to Build, Operate His Private Cloud

Starting immediately, all of the former Beatle's personal content will be stored in perpetuity on a new private cloud system being designed, built and maintained by Hewlett-Packard.

Sir Paul McCartney has been one of the world's most-renowned entertainment content creators for two generations. Like most of us, his personal collection has been stored on old-school media that's considered at risk.

Not anymore. McCartney has decided to digitize everything he has and is moving it to the cloud.

Starting immediately, all of the former Beatle's personal content -- home movies, videos, photographs, documents, unreleased music, paintings and numerous other items -- will be stored in perpetuity on a new private cloud system being designed, built and maintained by Hewlett-Packard.


HP said Sept. 22 that it has started work on the infrastructure part of the project with McCartney's company, McCartney Productions Limited.

McCartney has one of the most comprehensive libraries of any artist, much of which has never been viewed before. His library includes images, artwork, paintings, film and videos, as well as master recordings of some of the most popular songs ever composed.

Additionally, during his career, he has accumulated a vast collection of images, including the cover artwork for the multimillion-selling No. 1 album, "Band on the Run," recorded with one of his post-Beatles bands, Wings.

McCartney proactive in the project

Lynn Anderson, who has the unusual title of vice president of Influencer Marketing for Enterprise Systems at HP, told eWEEK that McCartney's people came to HP looking for a way to digitize his entire content collection.

"He (McCartney) is one of the most prolific artists of all time -- he's got thousands of hours of videotape that's been taken through his career; he's got artwork, he's got his music, of course," Anderson said. "Much of it is on media that's susceptible [to physical damage]."

McCartney was looking for a company "that he could trust to work with him to preserve his unique assets," Anderson said.

"I've always been interested in creative ideas and new ways of reaching people, so this is a really exciting initiative for me," McCartney said in a press statement. "I hope it will allow people who might be interested to access parts of our archives they might otherwise not be able to. I'm looking forward to working with HP on this project."

HP has begun the digitizing process and is now building the infrastructure for the McCartney private cloud. "As it rolls out and he decides what he wants to release publicly, he'll release that out to fans," Anderson said.

So McCartney is now in the process of becoming his own cloud-based publisher. Most other well-known pop artists, such as former Byrds front man Roger McGuinn and balladeer Janis Ian, have used their Websites to interact with fans, share music, and promote concert appearances, among other things.

But McCartney putting all his personal content into a private cloud for storage and publishing purposes may be a first in the music business. Anderson said the agreement marks the first time that HP has collaborated with an artist in this way.

"He's always been up to speed on technology, so it follows that he would be aware of cloud computing and storage," Anderson said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...