Apple and “Songs Of Innocence”

If you are an iTunes user, you probably have seen the new U2 album, “Songs Of Innocence”. But what’s “new” with this album ? Well, it was given and downloaded automatically for free. Nice, isn’t it ? Not for everyone.

During last Apple keynote (sept. 9 2014), the famous rock group U2 played a new title from its latest album. At the very same time, the album was released on every iTunes device (iPods, iPhones, Macs and even Windows). What’s more : on several devices, the album was downloaded directly, without user consent. This Apple and U2 partnership was worth about $100 million. Of course, the free digital album was removed on Oct. 10 and released in classic stores.

Many users complained about this marketing strategy, considering this album was intrusive. Actually, one cannot remove the album from one’s personal library without Apple’s consent ! In front of the global displeasure, Apple created an emergency application for those who wanted to remove the U2 songs.

Recently, in a public video on his facebook page, Bono apologized in response of the free album. “I had this beautiful idea, but (we) got carried away with ourselves. Artists are prone to that kind of thing. A drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs, that we poured our life into over the last few years, mightn’t be heard.” the group leader said.

Still, more than 81 million people did listen to at least one song, according to a CNN recent survey, and 26 million downloads were actually recorded. Before that, “only” 14 million users had purchased a U2 album on iTunes. Well, despite the album’s name, these free downloads were not really “innocent” regarding the band’s business plan !

The CNN article
The Apple message about the album

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