U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, was released free to around 500 million iTunes accounts. The forced launch quickly backfired when thousands of users claimed it was an invasion of privacy – and a waste of storage space.
“Oops, I’m sorry about that,” Bono said during a Facebook Q&A with fans.
The free download of the band’s album occurred when U2 performed at the Apple iPhone launch event in September. Whilst there was an announcement that the album would be free for all iPhone users, the album automatically downloaded without user approval.
“I had this beautiful idea and we kind of got carried away with ourselves,” Bono said.
“Artists are prone to that kind of thing. [A] Drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, 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. There’s a lot of noise out there. I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it.”
It may have been the largest album release in history, but fallout quickly followed for Apple and U2, as many angry iTunes users took to social media to express their dismay. Many musicians have also expressed disappointment with the band’s actions.
However, U2’s efforts at self-promotion have not been in vain. Their attempts at ‘getting a little noisy’ have definitely paid off, with thousands of fans and iTunes users who can attest to that.
Regarding the forced release of Songs of Innocence, Bono declared, “If you don’t want it, delete it. Here is the link.”
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Has the band overstepped the mark in their attempts to have their new album noticed? Or are you grateful for receiving a free album? Do you think that more bands should do this type of thing? Or are they taking liberties? What do you think?