Apple Gives U2’s Surprise Album to All iTunes Customers…

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Apple and U2 have teamed up for the “largest album release in history” (according to Apple).

At the end of an Apple keynote that seemed to ignore the topic of music, U2 took the stage and performed a new song. After this, Tim Cook and the band announced a new U2 album. Tim Cook brought up a free iTunes release, and Bono said “yes, but YOU’RE going to have to pay for it“. About 15 seconds later the album went up on iTunes.

All 500 million iTunes customers now have U2’s surprise album Songs of Innocence in their iTunes cloud libraries, available for free. Apple pushed the release to users’ libraries, instead of simply making it available for free in the iTunes Store. Presumably, they did this so they could call it the “largest album release in history”.

Songs of Innocence is also streaming on iTunes Radio and Beats Music. Apple has the exclusive until October 13th, when the album will be released physically.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u


154 Responses

  1. i amnotanonymous...

    Thanks Bono, you rich asshole!!!

    Fucking all of us over constantly with your stupid free music bullshit, those of us who havent built up huge fan bases through old label systems…

    Im all the way down with trying to fuck those pricks all the way over now, fucking dream selling douchebags.

    My main focus in decimating the careers of all these pricks and taken them all the way down if i can.

    Yall are lucky the show and media along with your lies and propaganda, have duped most people into thinking you guys are heroes… Youre just fucking charlatan slime buckets.

    Anyways, couldnt care any less…


      • Anonymous

        is what it is…

        Music is free, that means ill be doing other things for Money, so no shows, no releases, nothing public at all, other then trying to obliterate anyone in the music industry. I lose, they win, always.

        Maybe Porn, who knows, anything that will at worst afford me to live that i will be able to handle and will enjoy.

        Music biz can’t help that is for sure…


          • Anonymous

            … in fact, this shows how incredibly valuable music is today!

            This has been extremely expensive for Apple, but there’s no doubt it pays off: People’s gonna sign up for iTunes like crazy the next couple of days…

          • FarePlay

            I’m not sure this is the message, I would have chosen to promote Apple and their long standing connection with music, but as a business move on the part of U2, it beats the hell out of paying the NFL to play at half-time.

          • Anonymous

            “as a business move on the part of U2, it beats the hell out of paying the NFL to play at half-time”

            Indeed — and I think we need to start a new conversation:

            Why is music so extremely valuable to Big Tech today — and how do we monetize that fact?

            Everything people like DMNs Ari tried to tell us turned out to be lies: Music is not free, it’s not even cheap and we definitely shouldn’t give it away.

            Music is very, very expensive and Big Tech can’t make money without it.

            So let them pay!

          • FarePlay

            Yes, you can take anything, but free has nothing to do with it. It is only free if the person who made it says it is.

          • Jeff Robinson

            Bono is rich and his investment company is paying 4.2 cents a spin like clockwork with Zune. Any band not taking advantage of that hand-out per song is nuts.

            Bono is spending his money supporting music. AND THAT is what a good Irishman should do!

          • Anonymous

            “Actually, whatever a person can take is free”

            Yes, I can drop by your house, scan the lock on your door from the outside and upload the file on the web so we all can print our own free keys to your house and take all your stuff.

            That doesn’t mean your stuff is free, does it?

            It’s just very, very easy to steal.

          • TuneHunter

            Nina, it’s not funny and it’s not me!

            I like to see my logic sprouting here and there.

            Let’s get new fair use and convert Radio and streaming to $100B music store.

          • Versus

            A person can take anything, as long as they have guns and no conscience. So I guess everything is free. That’s called “might makes right”, also known as “thuggery”.

          • TuneHunter

            Cell phone is your gun and Shazam is the best sniper telescope so music income is dead. If not yet will be soon!

    • Dukerbud88

      No worries Buddy…I just checked out U2’s album and it sucks high and dry so I have no desire to buy it if it comes out on vinyl. I will gladly review your music for free before I purchase it.

      • Anonymous

        All good man, just steal it, i wont sure ya!!!

        6 degrees of separation so you must know someone that has it or has access to it so you can have someone share it with you for free legally depending on jurisdiction…

        i’ve already been raped and pillaged to near death already anyways and its not fair to those without money to have to pay when all those with money just steal it and use me and humiliate me and lock me out etc. etc.


    • Willis

      Rant much, jealous more?
      Sounds like you don’t have much of a clue about music, the music industry, marketing or Bono. Ever met him? I doubt it. Whatever your message was meant to convey, you wasted your time.

      • Anonymous

        Hey if you think i’m jealous then i am certainly doing something right…

        It also exposes yourself as someone who doesn’t know much at all, which is helpful, so thanks for that!

        The only thing i get a bit jealous of is random dudes getting with girls i like, and even then its more of a comedic jealousy, i dont really care everyone should have the right to their free choice. But if you think im jealous of someone like Bono or U2 you got another thing comin! hahaha

        This is survival, so they have to simply take the full automatic spray job gatling gun firing im giving them and thats just the way it is.


        • Anonymous

          those that know know, but for those that dont, at the end of the day anyone doing some philanthropic work gets a huge thumbs up from me so we cool like that, however, it still affects my personal survival and therefore all is fair, so thats just the way it is!

          ive already been tabbed as the villain by the show and am continuously vilified and defamed and smeared all over the place, so im just kind of running with it…

    • stu

      you coward,
      come out with that vitriolic rant, spewing jealousy , and couldn’t have the balls to put your name to it!!!!!!
      you are sad and pathetic..

  2. Anonymous

    if that means i gotta show up and put the cold steel barrel of a gun in his fucking face and pull the trigger, well hey, so be it!

    This is survival here boys, so yall better watch the fuck out!!! Watch your fucking backs at all times, dont even sleep, we can get you there too!!!



  3. Anonymous

    Biggest company in the world broadcasting that music is free as loudly as possible: not helpful.

  4. Anonymous

    But….but….but…..I thought the idea was that the artist gets to choose what they get to do with their art? Fuckin crybabies!

    • Anonymous


      Good for them Man, no worries, just tell them to remember that when they become the fucking collateral damage of what is going to happen, not to fucking cry me a river, ya dig!!

      The music biz is a stinky shithole that cares most about duping the people and selling them ridiculous dreams that are unrealistic, else they think they some Socialists or something…

      Either way theyve all been trying to blow my candle out and its about time for me to huff and puff on all of them.

      Fuck em, im almost dead anyways, lets take the Music Biz all the way down… Charlatan pricks!


        • you know who i am...

          haha is it?

          that would be pretty funny…

          anyways, is what it is, good for them for sure, we are mortal enemies, but congrats none the less…

          hopefully now he has found what he was searching for…

          Good luck to that family, we are at War currently so they better knuckle the fuck up!!!!


  5. Anonymous

    Sweet! Didn’t have to pay for it, didn’t have to use some sleazy torrent site, didn’t have to stream it! It just showed up in my iTunes… magic!

    • Anonymous

      Yeah Spotify loses big time! This album is on iTunes, YouTube, Pirate Bay and everywhere else but Spotify! Poor bastards are getting exactly what they deserve!

      • Nina Ulloa

        well a huge chunk of spotify’s demographic doesn’t even care about this album. pretty soon it’s going to be a meme.

        • FarePlay

          Oh, I forgot Nina, did you mean Spotify or U2? Actually i have a question for you, Nina. How do you explain U2 making more money in 30 minutes than Spotify’s made in 7 years?

          • Nina Ulloa

            my statement has nothing to do with how much money they made. you really think my generation is rushing to download this album and listen to it? no, they’re making jokes about it.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry, but it seems the joke’s on you.

            Nobody cares about Spotify — everybody cares about U2 and Apple…

          • FarePlay

            Interesting that you would define yourself by your age. Actually, we are having a conversation about a situation that has far greater impact than what one generation believes. Nor do I believe you or other commenters on here in their 20s represent your generation in the same way I certainly don’t feel I represent mine.

            These are universal truths we are dealing with here, it is not about adapting to a false sense of principals created by technology. It will be interesting to find out once we empower the artist to choose whether they want to participate in piracy or not, how many artists from your generation choose not to do so or rather how many artists with actual careers opt for allowing others to profit from their work.

          • GGG

            Yea…sorry, the average person in our gen thinks Bono is a giant turd…hence the South Park episode where he’s literally a giant turd.

            And for the record, I like U2, and while Bono can get overly self-righteous at times, I don’t mind him.

  6. Anonymous

    “Apple has the exclusive until October 13th”

    Might be the huge Spotify holdout Paul was talking about a while back.

        • Anonymous

          Samsung paid $5m for 1m copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail.

          My guess would be $10m — though it’s on the cheap side for 500m copies.

          At any rate, it shows how valuable music is for Big Tech.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, it’s a win win situation for all involved. Everybody gets what they need. Apple gets iTunes sign ups, U2 gets cash and fans get free music!

  7. Zac Shaw

    When this was announced the first thing I thought was that the guy from FarePlay and the other DMN commenters were going to rush the stage, grab the mic Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift style and scream, “You’re all pirates! You’re all criminals! You’re devaluing music!”

    Meanwhile 99% of the public moves on with the world of free music that has been inevitable since the first P2P met the first MP3. Copyright, physical media, downloads, streams — these are all just a ways to monetize the relationship between fan and artist. For so many reasons beyond the fact it’s technologically feasible, we no longer need to do things that deny fans access to music to monetize that relationship. The business of selling music is reconfiguring itself around monetizing relationships, just as in all the arts industries. Why is that so hard for some people to understand? Are they just so stubborn they’ll go to the grave with a cassette-and-crossbones etched on their tombstone as all the world’s music flows freely to every device?

    • Anonymous

      “first thing I thought was that the guy from FarePlay and the other DMN commenters were going to rush the stage, grab the mic Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift style and scream, “You’re all pirates!”

      Haha, whatever for? :)

      This proves, once again, how extremely valuable music is for Big Tech:

      A year ago, Samsung paid $5m for 1m copies of Jay-Z’s new album. Today, Apple tops that! 500m copies!

      Big Tech is worthless without content — and the most valuable content on the planet is hot, new music!

      • Anonymous

        If they could just make it keep happening….shit just showing up in peoples iTunes. It’s like a goddamned miracle. Like Jesus feeding the 5,000. Love it! Keep the free music flowing!

        • Anonymous

          Miracles only happens once in a while.

          That’s what makes them miracles, ya know… :)

      • Anonymous

        Haha, whatever for? :)

        This proves, once again, how extremely valuable music is for Big Tech:

        A year ago, Samsung paid $5m for 1m copies of Jay-Z’s new album. Today, Apple tops that! 500m copies!

        Big Tech is worthless without content — and the most valuable content on the planet is hot, new music!

        And not just big tech, telecom and ISP’s and those with big servers and the information economy all benefit greatly from music. Obviously those with fancy low end consumer tech devices sell more with a lot of free content and apps on them. Its actually probably a lot better for them for piracy to run rampant, then they can get all the content for free and build huge dossiers on people that they can then leverage for more money, all the while people starve and i cant scrape out a fucking few pennies with music.

        But to have an act that big with that much roots in the traditional system who have a huge fan base thanks to better times of fan acquisition, well its worth it for them.

        Sadly it only hurts anyone that isn’t at the level of U2. Don’t see Apple wanting to pay anything to me and im sitting on possibly the record of the year, screw U2’s and Apples marketing b.s., sorry U2, respect and all that, but this only further fucks me in the ass and i’m tired of being anally pummeled here.

        It’s actually enough to make me close and cancel my Apple account and ensure that i never use or do anything with or for them unless paid significantly well and of course we all know where i stand with the music business, i dont, they cant, they snakes, they got no legs!! lol

        Then you have people like Ari etc. now waiving that free flag like hes Jesus because his esteemed superhero leaders are paving the way to peace and freedom or whatever… Great play! So the fucking super richies get to look like they give music away for free being Jesus like and pseudo fake ass saviors, all the while getting paid a huge amount to do it, and most others then think music is free and that they should do the same, for whatever dumb reason and low level artists start giving the baby away with the bathwater all in hopes they can get some people stroking their egos off… great stuff.

        Anyways, So where are all these tech people hungry to pay for hot content??

        Cause i got a huge body of some of the best raw uncut shit around, but they dont wanna pay! So i lay it down, fuck everyone then! :)

        And since all mine was shared over VPN and ways that i couldnt acquire the stats and data, how do i properly put together a proposal that will offer fair compensation for my hot content?

        They have fucked me the whole way, wonder why im like i am now?? Jaded, bitter, whining etc?? Um NO, its SELF DEFENSE, fuck man they have just screwed me from the get go all the way…

        Right, i cant put any proposal together, cause im fully fucked here, awesome!

        Oh wait, i need a huge fan base, sweet, thanks to their free music ridiculous piracy propaganda play and the subsequent Copyright War and the lack of legal money around to acquire, i cant even think of building a fanbase, so i get fucked the whole way, and guess what? so do most of the artists who werent around before all this. Now if you aint rich or born into that family, you have pretty much zero fucking chance to get anywhere.

        And whats even better?? The people now expect it thanks to shit like this and most wont pull a couple layers back to see they were paid huge dollars to do this.

        So now i cant sell music cause people want it free and because of the sharing, i have no stats or data or information to use to leverage for payment to give it away for free. So im supposed to be Jesus then?? Great, no problem, im pretty tired here so if yall can just nail me up and get it over with already, avoiding the whole dues paying trudging low to no paid lame industry pilgrimage bullshit, that would be much appreciated!

        This Apple/U2 play actually leaves me little choice other then NOT RELEASING any new music. It further demotivates and leaves me uninspired to do anything other then get into tech and information and use others peoples content for free or as cheaply as possible to build some real wealth and do music in whatever free time i have for self satisfaction and to ensure no one gets the shit.

        If i have fans, which i dont cause no one supports me, but never the less speaking hypothetically here, so if i have fans who want music then id have to set up some sort of super private way to get it to them. No way i want any of those pricks to benefit from my hot content and i dont give a damn about being remembered or famous so thats no problemo. Thats the only way i could do shows, buying out the place and running the show and avoiding all facets of the music business that i can. But that costs money and since music is free i cant build the fanbase to leverage with someone who would invest in something like that to even think of getting it going, so theres no play for me anywhere with music anymore, which is cool. There goes 8 years of my life and large sacrifices that i am now system and society fucked because of.


        On another note Streaming has to be a telecom and isp play, to get people to go into their data overages and up their plans, music is part of the ends to the means, again, better for them if its all free and people give them their music for free.

        All thats just more reason im done with music.

        Now to the studio to finish this record im working on, the best record of the year hands down, that no one will ever hear or get to steal or buy or anything. Why i continue i dont know, its already leaked, its already been stolen and ive already been gone at at the highest levels, them just sticking it in even more that i cant compete… So fuck it, hopefully i can keep this record off the net and just lock it down for Maybe a posthumous release, preferably over 100 years in the future so that no flesh person gets to enjoy it for free off the back of my fucking hard work blood sweat and tears and sacrifice…


        • there is something...

          So, you were in music just for the money ? Good, nobody will miss you. Disappear and never come back, please !

          • Anonymous

            why would i want any of yall to miss me??

            i make music, for me and my fans, not for some stupid industry that just steals and rapes and never helps other then trying to plant seeds to get me to acquire services which cost money…

            I AM MUSIC… yall are just fake ass pretenders, seriously…

            so sick of it… the lack of respect… oh man, if yall think this is bad just wait, im bout to up my assholeness to new levels…

            so pissed…

            i suggest just killing me and getting it over with.


          • Anonymous

            Basically to those still standing in the dark or walking the halls or whatever bullshit that stupid industry is sending your way…

            Anytime someone starts going at you about being in music only for the money, cause maybe you asked or were looking for some, YOU KNOW THEY ARE SNAKE SCAMMING CRIMINAL DREAM SELLING CHARLATANS…


            They are trying to get you to work for free or for very littile, attacking your artist side and your love for music and your pride and the whole dumb sell out thing blah blah

            Its industry snakey scammers, NEVER LISTEN TO THOSE SORTS OF PEOPLE!

            They are the ones who have no artistic or musical ability and try and scrape and rape you for every penny and percentage possible, selling you on the organic real for the music and peace bullshit cause agenda dream selling shit they on.

            Spit in those peoples faces when they come back at you with that garbage line.


    • Chris H


      It’s equally interesting to me that people who say “it’s moving to a consumption monetization model man…” don’t even acknowledge the fact that it is precisely because the sales model is being suppressed.

      “Cats outta the bag man, nothing ya can do”. Can’t possibly sort out the trash from the recyclables. mmm hmmm. Yet the NSA at a government level (completely in bed with Big Tech, that’s fact) and spammers and hackers on a private level have no problem knowing every detail of the public’s lives. The couldn’t possibly figure out a way to monitor legal vs illegal content sites and their links. That’s unbelievable to me.

      That’s not to say I want a sales only model. I just want a fair playing field where both streaming and a healthy sales market exist. Is that greedy? Is that asking too much for the next generation, who wont have the support system the boomer generation enjoyed?

      The whole business, artists included need to wake up.

    • FarePlay

      Actually Zac this is exactly why FarePlay is putting their time and energy behind “take down, stay down”. We feel every musician, songwriter, filmmaker, author, etc. has earned the right to choose whether they want their work to be part of the free distribution platform you and others support or they choose not to be a part of it.

      You believe that free is a valuable promotional and marketing tool and I agree that any artists who shares your beliefs should have no barriers to building a fan base and making money from touring, merchandise sales and fan support programs, like Patreon.

      For those artists who choose to not follow that path they have earned the right to not participate in the free model, because there is nothing fair or equitable about outsiders making this decision for others.

      ( I agree, there may be a handful of artists signed to labels that may have no choice in this matter, but as you so often and passionately express there is more music, now, than ever, which I think is true. According to research reported by A2IM, Independents now represent more than a third of all music sold, I actually think that number is much higher given the amount of music that is sold at shows and through independent musician websites. )

      If there’s something that you or any of the other commenters here would like to say or have other recommendations for creating an “artist owned” distribution channel, please do so.

      • Anonymous

        “this is exactly why FarePlay is putting their time and energy behind “take down, stay down”

        Best initiative, ever!

    • Versus

      “Is” does not imply “ought”.

      The way things are does not mean we all believe that is how it should be.

  8. GGG

    I think everyone is overthinking this and missing the obvious play; they don’t want to be embarrassed by what would surely be, certainly by U2 standards, piss poor album sales. Instead they’re the cool dudes giving 500M people their album.

    • Anonymous

      “I think everyone is overthinking this and missing the obvious play”

      …and I think you’re bitter because it’s yet another and extremely high profiled Spotify holdout… :)

      “Instead they’re the cool dudes giving 500M people their album”

      Um no, they’re not giving anything away…

      • GGG

        I mean, of the 6 billion people on earth, how many actually have internet access? And how many of those consume music? And now 500M of them have the album. Doesn’t really count as a holdout…

      • GGG

        Also, didn’t Sam Smith go to number 1 again? And his record is on Spotify. Whoops.

        • FarePlay

          Don’t you ever tire of feeling like you have to have something to say?

          • GGG

            You run and post on your own fucking social media page all day every day.

            Don’t you ever tire of being a moron? Sam Smith rose on the charts, AFTER his album was put on Spotify. Now, I’m not saying Spotify caused that, just saying clearly it’s not hurting it too much. Funny how this is what you challenge as being unimportant…

            You’re worthless. It’s a joke people take you seriously as any degree of industry analyst.

          • FarePlay

            I’m certain that every comment you make you believe is important.

  9. noneofyourbusiness

    anyone know how to delete this bullshit from my itunes library?

  10. FarePlay

    Can Apple and Beats Music make a difference in an industry that has been beaten down by online piracy and now streaming music services that can’t seem to get enough paying subscribers to be profitable?

    Caught in the middle of all this are musicians and songwriters who have seen their careers crater and their paychecks disappear. For many working artists the digital revolution has been a nightmare.

    Speaking out last May, just after the Beats deal was announced, Jimmy Iovine, Co-Founder of Beats Electronics and one of the few remaining music business icons, had this to say:

    “We have a lot of dreams for the subscription service, it is very important to every recording engineer, producer, artist, songwriter and the music industry….we have to get this model right, we don’t know the exact model yet, but we need to put steroids into this thing and get it done quickly, Apple is the best company in the world… and 800 million subscribers doesn’t hurt either.”

    In an interview at the Code Conference, literally hours after the Apple, Beats Electronics deal was announced. Mr. Iovine and Eddy Cue, long time head of iTunes, spoke in detail about Beats Music; its emphasis on curated playlists and their shared passion and respect for music. For those looking for something positive in an industry hammered by technology, this interview was nothing less than a revelation.

    Mr. Iovine was actually one of the first people from the music business to meet with Steve Jobs and Eddy Cue back in 2003 to see a demonstration of iTunes. Mr. Iovine ‘got it’ and helped Apple convince a doubting music industry to allow iTunes to sell music downloads.

    The sticking point? Jobs insisted that iTunes offer songs and not just albums for sale as digital downloads. Jobs was right. Widespread piracy was making music free for an entire generation and without an inexpensive solution even more people would have felt ‘entitled’ to get their music without paying.

    Now, a decade later, just hours after Mr. Iovine had officially joined Apple, the two men were together, once again, to see what they could do to save what’s left of the music business in 2014. For the first time, since Apple introduced the iTunes store over a decade ago, digital download sales of music were down. The challenge for Apple? How to promote Beats Music without destroying iTunes.

    Their solution may be in building a music streaming service rooted in discovery that transitions the listener to iTunes and creates an opportunity to sell more music to those who prefer to own it, not borrow it. And don’t underestimate Mr. Iovine’s value in putting together exclusive release deals with top artists. He’s not just connected, he has iTunes as part of the deal and in today’s marketplace, even the biggest artists are looking for ways to sell more music.

    Mr. Iovine understands that most people who listen to music don’t want to search for it. They want it simple and they want a human connection with the music they hear. As a music guy, he knows that It takes people who love music, and know music, to create great playlists, not the computer generated playlists that Pandora, Spotify and others use.

    “You need curation, not give me your credit card here’s 20 million songs. Of course you have to have the right curated playlists. Without it you don’t have the emotion.”

    Since those revelations back in May, Apple has been actively evaluating their options and making changes. Quietly eliminating Apps from their App Store that enabled users to download music, movies and e-books from sites like YouTube and even ending their relationship with Google’s YouTube. All moves designed to support the legitimate sale of recorded music.

    Even weeks before the rumors started about the Beats deal, an article ran in Bloomberg about Apple’s plans to incorporate a song identification feature in their next iOS upgrade for the iPhone and iPad. The article indicated that Apple was in talks with Shazam Entertainment to incorporate Shazam’s song recognition software in all their mobile devices.

    Shazam is actually one of the bright spots in today’s music business with over 70 million monthly active users, generating over $300 million in sales in 2013 for iTunes and other paid music download services. Currently, the Shazam App is on about 30 percent of Apple’s iPhones.

    by William Buckley Jr, Originally posted in Huffington Post 9.5.2014

    • TuneHunter

      Shazam is the biggest MOOCH of the music house.
      For one tune they have catalyzed to 1.29 event on iTunes or Amazon 20 went to trash.
      All music and lyrics ID guys should work only in mandatory purchase (or addition to playlist) mode!
      Otherwise we will not have music industry or music as merchandise.

      If we put them under control, legally or financially, we can have all of Radio and streaming operating as a 100B music store!

      • FarePlay

        No, I’d say that award goes to the thousands of pirate sites around the world that are taking gold and lining their pockets with silver. The difference between the amount of money pirate sites make on advertising, upgrades and secret decoder rings as compared to the amount of income they dissolve for artists is massive.

        Kind of like the guy who brakes into your car to steal your radio. He sells it for $20 and your repair job costs you $500. When are these guys just going own it and stop dancing around the marketing benefits of having your stuff ripped off by strangers.

        Do you really think anybody believes that anymore? You’d have to be a delusional drug addict to be in that much denial.

    • Anonymous

      Why would streaming companies need paid subscribers to be profitable?

      That’s not the business plan, that’s just smoke screen cover for where the real money and information is…

      Streaming subscription digital whatever is not important to me and i’m everyone he suggested it would be important to. If i go ahead and write for Britney or whoever, then yes it will mean more to me if i have to rely on back-end royalties.

      The model on its own will never get done right so long as all the others are allowed to freely pillage and rape it, which is of course highly illegal, but hey, it pays to be above the law! Else what they are doing is trading and leveraging and negotiating behind the scenes and the real money doesnt trickle into the creation cycle, it just stays up top and gets passed around, oh shit, just like the whole global economy is operating now, no money trickling down, no legal money down here to be had. Sadly im caught below it, its all locked up, and what they are allowed to do legally, i am being watched like a hawk for their evidence building and smear campaign on me… Great stuff, whoever said the World isn’t fair really hit that nail on the head!

      Pennies won’t help me build wealth unless i own a grocery store chain or something.

      Music these days is best left to rich kids, kids who have daddy at the label, else those who are desperate for attention, fame whores who get off having their ego satiated etc.

      Cause in my whole time in it i havent gotten anything good out of it, no girls, no money, no nothing except some dumb ass ego stroking, thing is, i dont have much of an ego to stroke so its just so uncomfortably awkward, cause all they got is attention for me that only they know they are giving me, so even further fuck jobs. Not only can i not stand that shit, it isnt being delivered in any way that will help me…

      If you into it for the music? Oh man, get the fuck out now!!!


    • Versus

      “Can Apple and Beats Music make a difference in an industry that has been beaten down by online piracy and now streaming music services that can’t seem to get enough paying subscribers to be profitable?”

      If piracy is severely reduced, by proper enforcement of intellectual property laws, then the streaming services would be extremely profitable. They could actually charge a reasonable rate, and pay out a reasonable rate.

      • FarePlay

        I agree. I think we are leaving a lot of money on the table by not having an effective mechanism to put serious, expedient pressure with appropriate jail time in place for infringing site operators.

  11. Carl Sagan

    Christ–this forum is filled with toxic dinosaurs who refuse to accept reality. Get on board or get left behind.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, it’s beyond me too. How can anybody still think that music should be free? :)

      U2 made millions from this. So it proves — once again — how extremely valuable music is to Big Tech.

      • Anonymous

        It proves that selling music can be replaced with a patronage system?

        • Anonymous

          It proves that Big Tech desperately needs music.

          And that’s a very, very good thing to know…

  12. DNog

    LOL to people that view U2 as just another band. Apple doesn’t give two craps about their music. It’s image and a statement. Has nothing to do with “big tech caring about music.”

  13. Paul Resnikoff

    So how is this released evaluated, in terms of its market success? How should it chart?

    Is it the largest album release ever, or just a forced cloud push that should be ignored because it didn’t involved direct payments from individual fans that made an express effort to purchase?

    Once again, I do not envy the position that Billboard finds itself. This is yet another Samsung+Jay-Z riddle, compounded.

    • Anonymous

      I would say approximately $10M bonus from higher ticket pricing and more concert goers in next 12 months!

      LIVE is the KING!
      Music is as a merchandise is finished, I hope just for the moment!

      • Anonymous

        Well, Apple just paid north of $5m for an album. I think it’s pretty hard to be a pessimist today. :)

        • Anonymous

          they dont care about the music or the album.

          They care about the fame and notoriety, the coolness, the massive convened fanbase all which will be utilized to sell devices, subscriptions and generate massive data trails and information feasts with their servers.

          They all get to market themselves as curators and custodians and music lovers and supporters, yet you never ever see any of it ever flow down to those trying to get anywhere or who are starting out. They can take their lying manipulative marketing and shove it up their ass!!!!

          So long as you huge and have massive fan bases and are stadium tour worthy or are one of the bigger labels with bigger stables of bigger artists, yeah great news, otherwise its a big donkey dick up the ass for everyone else…


          • Anonymous

            “they dont care about the music or the album”

            Who cares, the story proves how incredibly valuable music is for the tech industry.

    • Meh

      Paul, I think this is one of those releases that will be viewed from the rearview once industry analysts factor streaming into charts, which from what I hear they’re working on doing. I personally think it’s BS that it’s forced into user’s library, and don’t think that should be counted as a scan. They would have made chart performance a lot easier by offering it for free and measuring the amount of user’s who CHOSE to download it. But, that’s not the question you asked, so I apologize that I don’t have the answer. Just had to vent..

      • Meh

        To clarify – obviously this isn’t a streaming album, but I think once streaming affects charts that all of these digital promotional releases will have a formula on how they will measure chart success.

    • Anonymous

      Forced cloud push?

      What does that even mean?

      The Cloud, man those techy boys who usually mis-name everything got that one so perfectly right it isnt even funny!

      They even got it on different levels, which is pretty amazing for them!

      Lest we forget of course the cloud is actually real servers down on the ground.

      So Apple gets to really suck in the information to their servers because of it and then use that or sell that to whoever, none of whom get any compensation for. Thats why ill never download or even listen to U2’s album or use Apple for anything other then purchasing my own music to make sure my aggregator is doing their job properly!

      For U2 i think its just proper compensation instead of trying to recoup through music sales. Its the way to go these days for sure, its a smart play, but it fucks most others in the music game.

      The chart thing? Im not so sure its of super importance to U2 as they have a pretty ingrained fan base so either way theyll sell out stadium tours.

      Billboard just needs to stick to taking payment from Gaga et all to stroke them off and write positive articles etc. Charts should be ran by a central computer or server if it isnt already and that then makes Billboard a pseudo Government handling regulations etc. No wonder its so fucked…

      Anyhoo, i dont know anything, just some random ramblings…

    • GGG

      It shouldn’t chart at all.

      Unless I’m allowed to buy a million email addresses and send out links to my acts’ albums and chart number 1.

      • Anonymous

        is what it is man, look at Partition by Beyonce, getting charted due to everyone making dance videos and uploading it to YouTube in what appeared to be copyright infringement…

        MJ pimped the charts, Mariah pimps the charts, Stephanie pimps the charts, i mean who doesnt pimp the charts like that?

        The criteria for charting will continue to evolve and has to include tactics like this, actually if your industry doesnt push this to the top of the charts, which it likely will, it will be a huge oversight and miscalculation of gargantuan proportions!!!

        Essentially if your industry doesn’t truly make this the largest album release ever, whether a scam or not, it will further bring the value down across the board ongoing…

        Smart play by U2 and their industry stooges and goons to essentially use this time to gain huge momentum to possibly being placed in the record books as the greatest band ever to have existed!!!

        • GGG

          While you can certainly argue the merit of YT video views and especially the song being in the background, it’s still a different idea of consumer choice consumption.

          It’s the whole fundamental idea of why Soundscan charts actual sales and not shipments.

          • GGG

            Well sure, but it’s still not real sales. Something Soundscan accounted for, so we know the industry watches these things. Jay-Z’s didn’t count, if I’m not mistaken.

    • Cmonbro

      It’s going to be released eventually.. when it does those numbers will count towards billboard…

      The think piece you will write after the album is given to 500m users for free but only does -200k the first week will be interesting..

      Who knows maybe it’ll sell really really well first week. if it’s a great album it certainly could. Hope Danger Mouse can make it interesting.

      • GGG

        I think their last record only did like 400K first week, so 200K first week is what they probably would have gotten, which is why it made sense to give this away. Not only did they make money from Apple, but now they don’t have to read all the articles about how terrible their album sales are.

        • DNog

          There’s probably some lingo in those ridiculously long iTunes updates that we all agree to making it “actively” taken by us and having it be chartable. Or not, I never read that stuff…human centi-pads.

  14. Meh

    I’m not a huge fan of U2, but I’m fine with this EXCEPT ONE THING! Why directly push this to user’s library? I don’t want this… I’m sure a lot of people who are crazy OCD about their music library don’t want this… come on, FAIL.

  15. Anonymous

    I don’t want this U2 on my iPhone (in my opinion they’re shit). If I wanted this I would have gone to some cite to get a chance to win a free album or something. Not everyone likes their music. Get this shit off my iPhone.

  16. oz

    problem is, when you give things away, no one ultimately cares. basic psychology.

    • Anonymous

      if someone wanted to give me a decent sized chunk of land to build a city of the future on, that still held a few resources like fresh water, no oil needed, that i could make into my own jurisdiction under none of these crazy places, then i would certainly care very very much!


    • FarePlay

      I think you’ve made an excellent point about piracy. Piracy doesn’t simply symphon off money, it creates the perception that music is valueless and opened the door for all these sub-value music licensing deals.

      • GGG

        You have no clue how real life works. Go to literally ANY show at ANY venue in NYC that’s more than, let’s say 200 cap, and poll people walking in. “How many of you bought the record of the band you’re about to see?” What do you think the answer will be?

        And what percentage of those bands do you think would be selling 500 tix if their music wasn’t readily available. This is not a pro-piracy argument, this is an argument for access. You ignore an entire aspect of bands even having careers, however fleeting, just to sit on your high horse.

        • FarePlay

          Do you really believe that if piracy wasn’t effectively addressed and stifled a decade ago that there would have not been a legitimate replacement that would have leveraged the reach of the Internet to create awareness for the very bands you are talking about?

          You pro-piracy guys are so intent on manipulating the message to justify your actions it’s pathetic.

          • Nina Ulloa

            do you really believe that piracy could have been magically cut out a decade ago?

          • FarePlay

            Nina, in 1998 the DMCA Safe Harbor Provision was put in place to protect ‘websites from unjustified copyright lawsuits; encourage the investment company to take a chance on investing in Internet start-ups. (Yes, even then the investment community understood the value of high-quality content.)

            Within a year Napster went live, fifteen years later piracy is flourishing in part because of this flawed ruling that allowed pirate sites to game the system, compounded by an industry that made the mistake of going after private individuals, caught downloading.

            Why we are just getting around to proposing an equitable solution that empowers the artists to decide what happens with their work is difficult to understand, but had it been in place a decade ago, piracy would be much less of a factor than it is today.

            Nothing will ever eliminate Internet theft. The Internet is an open source that creates endless opportunities for abuse. We are just at the beginning of very challenging times for legitimate businesses. You can bank on that.

          • Anonymous

            “You pro-piracy guys”

            GGG is not pro-piracy, FarePlay. His lingo is just a bit more rock’n roll than yours. :)

            Nina, on the other hand… [insert facepalm]

          • GGG

            Correct, thank you. I’m pro-music first, pro-access second, and pro-money third. Hence my support of streaming. I think it gives (well, CAN give with a bit higher payouts) the best middle ground of those.

          • GGG

            Sure, but it probably would have looked a lot more like a streaming service than an ownership model. My point isn’t pro-piracy and it’s not even that I’m saying piracy is/was good. I’m saying it’s not as black and white an argument as you make it. You argue about artist pay all the time, but you fail to grasp the fundamental point that a ton of smaller/midlevel acts would not even have any careers, let alone touring ones, if it hadn’t been for easy access to their music, which in our reality was piracy. Doesn’t mean they’re rolling in money from touring and merch, and it doesn’t mean it’s easy. But at least they’re getting a shot.

          • FarePlay

            Okay, the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. The traffic that goes to pirate sites is driven by quality content, whether it be music, film, television, literature, whatever. They are the ones paying the price, not the local bands who are good, but will never be great.

            The situation is much worse for filmmakers, but the situation is reversed. There are so many really good indie films that cost a lot of money to make (relatively) and never get a theatrical opening, get picked off on release day and available globally, instantly. They can’t tour, sell product at shows. Their careers are over instantly, unless they’re some kind of viral miracle.

            E-books same deal. Guy works five years above his garage only to have a third, if not more of his books downloaded without permission, thank-you or a couple of bucks. How anybody thinks this is ok is beyond me.

          • GGG

            I can’t knowledgeably comment on the film/lit industries regarding piracy so I’ll avoid that. Though I have heard from actor friends that Netflix/Hulu/etc deals can be very good (for people entitled to residuals), so streaming seems to be effective for film.

            Also, I’m not talking about local bands per se. Acts that play, and sell out, Bowery Ballroom for example have made it over the first giant hump of fandom. But that’s only 550 people. You’ll still be unknown to most of the country, but that’s also a decent draw if you can do it nation-wide. Not livable after splitting it with 3-4 other people in the band, but you’ll end the tour in the black at least. Also, every band is a local band at some point. Gotta start somewhere.

          • FarePlay

            Streaming is terrible for the indie movie maker. If things are hard for musicians, they’re even harder for young filmmakers. They borrow $50k from their Uncle Walter to make a movie and Walter never sees a dime. Now, he’s done investing, unless, possibly, he’s worked on the movie and loves the feeling of community you get if you ever have worked on a film, amazing.

            If you want to get a sense of that process, there’s a fabulous bonus disk for Costner’s film “Dances With Wolves”. It shows the magic of movie-making when it is all ‘destined’ to come together. At this point in time Kevin Costner was a total unknown in Hollywood.

  17. Anonymous

    Get this shit off my phone.. i was just on shuffle on my library and this shit started playing. No offense i’m just not a fan.

  18. Anonymous

    Haha “free music”? Music FORCED onto everyone’s phones. This is not music, this is spam.

  19. dilemah

    what if I don´t want that crap installed at my account? Can I sue Apple for invade my privacy ? Really I do not want Apple or that asshole who thinks we are a bunch of idiots to believe he´s giving away their shitty music for free, I don´t want it, and all my friends DO NOT WANT IT. You will see, U2 at least are getting between 150 and 200 million US dlls for this stupid setup. I just hope that Apple makes it public sometime how many people from that 500 million, “really” downloaded the album. Believe me, You´ll be surprised how low is U2´s credibility right now. Bono just want keep growing his miserable $600 million fortune, that´s his only truth. Greedy Bastard.

  20. Dave Buerger

    This morning iTunes asked to be updated so I did. (And had to reboot my computer – hate that imposition!) I found U2’s new album in the catalog and clicked on half of the songs. The physical media files were NOT on my PC, the application reached into the iCloud to play the content. I’m not a U2 fan and this album sounds as forgettable as the others. Deleted.

  21. Versus

    An obnoxious publicity stunt that further damages the prospects of musicians wanting to make a living as recording artists. Very disappointing, U2.

  22. Versus

    A truly revolutionary thought for Apple:

    Give the future-landfill iPhone away for free instead.

    • There is something...

      This is dumb. U2 to didn’t “give away” their album. They made probably a lot of good cash from it. But for the sake of the argument: you can in fact get an iPhone for free, depending of your carrier et the kind of plan you subscribe to. It’s exactly the same.

  23. Anonymous

    The big thing here is this…

    What rights did Apple get for what they paid?

    Do they own the Masters? Was it just a license? Exclusive non-exclusive etc.

    That’s the important thing here and will help better determine what sort of precedent was set and what everyone can expect going forward for fair compensation for our property and our rights and our fucking hard work.

  24. Lucas Bevins

    It’s not free! Apple used my iTunes card money without my permisson!

  25. jw

    It never downloaded for me, I guess because I don’t have the latest version of iTunes. I’m super indifferent about it. U2 hasn’t been relevant to me for a while.

    This move would never have been made under Jobs. Apple has always had a successful relationship with U2, but this is crossing the line.

    While a lot of people like U2, many more people are indifferent towards or disinterested in them. Whoever decided this release was worth $100m should lose his/her job.

    This is, essentially, no different than a broadcast. There’s no way to speculate the real interest in this release… you’d have to monitor how much it’s listened to, which Apple doesn’t likely have the means to do. This is the way things are going, though, with streaming. In the future, billboard charts will be calculated based on listens, not transactions.

    • Anonymous

      Everyone mad at Apple?

      No, not everyone, stupid media douchebags…

      Im not mad at Apple, FINALLY someone steps up and thinks a bit instead of the same old prehistoric stupid lame music biz wheel, stone age dinosaur retards…

      THANK-YOU U2 AND APPLE, fuck man, some people have done some of this before, i say fuck it boys, thats the play, fuck the record sales and everyone whining about their little cut they shouldnt be getting anyways.

      I would sidestep the whole industry and get in bed with Apple, Google, Virgin, Telecoms, Wall Street, etc. before every getting under the covers of any music business…


    • There is something...

      I’m not a U2 fans and I don’t if I’ll event listen to the full album someday but someone must have a very boring shitty life to complain about getting this for free. You don’t like it, don’t download it…

      • jw

        >> You don’t like it, don’t download it…

        That’s the point. You don’t have that option. It just shows up in people’s library. If you don’t want it, you have to make the effort of deleting it. It’s no different than complaining about spam in your e-mail inbox, except to some it feels more intrusive because you actually expect spam.

        • There is something...

          It’s in the cloud library, not your local library. People are far too sensitive, and they should better understand all those license agreement because the service provider (Apple, Google, you name it) can do almost anything they want with “your” contents. If you don’t like it… don’t use those services. Frankly, if you find intrusive the fact that Apple put an album in your cloud library, I just can’t imagine how you can still use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any social media, because everything they do is hundreds times more intrusive and can actually harm your privacy if you’re not careful. But we know that people like to complain for futile things rather that what really matters.

          • jw

            This isn’t about what you or I think.

            Ultimately, it’s about whether this was a positive or negative thing for Apple. Evidently you don’t care to hear other people’s opinions about it. So you can probably guess how much I care about your opinion. I’m more interested in the fact that people who have no idea who U2 is think their phone got hacked.


            The fact is, Bono is considered by many people to be a gigantic douchebag & U2 is a polarizing band. In addition to the folks who have no idea who they are, & no interest in rock music in general, there are people who actively dislike the band. Adding their music to everyone’s library isn’t the best move in the playbook.

            If you want to offer it for free, let people download it free of charge. But don’t spam them with it.

          • There is something

            No, the problem is that today wahtever you do, you’ll have a bunch of idiots complaining and stupid medias to report it like the big news of the day. Also, how many of those complaining people are in fact Apple haters who don’t own any of their product to begin with ? And pretending not knowing who is U2, even if you don’t listen to rock, only shows these people are either dumb or trolls.

          • jw

            Someone’s an idiot because he or she is 15 years old & U2 hasn’t been relevant since he or she was 5 or 6?

          • There is something

            When I was 15, I was very aware of major bands that were relevant before I was even born. And I didn’t have Wikipedia to help me back then. So yes again, they are idiots…

          • jw

            Pro tip: You’ll get a lot further in life if you start considering the way that people are, rather than the way you think they ought to be.

  26. There is something...

    Technically, it’s not “your” iTunes. Apple owns iTunes and grant you a license to use it on your device. Just like almost any other software.

  27. FarePlay

    This is rich. The free generation pissed off at a giveaway. Now that’s attitude.

  28. JTVDigital

    (comment posted while listening to “Songs of Innocence”)

    You guys make me laugh with the permanent complaint about absolutely EVERYTHING…

    For once you get some free music, available from just a click in your iTunes’ Cloud (yes, it was not “pushed” to your library as some are saying, it was visible as a possible free cloud download, nobody forced you to download it).
    The expected reaction should have been “yeah, cool, some free music offered by Apple, let’s click and have a listen”…but no, you complain, using words like “spam”…etc.

    You get music for free, you complain. You’re asked to pay for music, you complain. There is a new subscription plan coming somewhere, you complain (not expensive enough, music devaluation…blablabla).

    If you take a step back (yes make a pause in the moaning and try, you can do it), what do we have here with this whole U2 thing, a conspiracy from big evil companies to devalue music? The biggest spam campaign in history?…no we have a simple (but big scale) marketing operation involving a brand (Apple) and a band (U2; actually it’s their record label who had the idea and negotiated the deal, not them): Apple sends the message they’re still a lot into music, and the record label secures loads of money from a record that, let’s be honest, would have had average sales only.
    This is not a good U2 album, it’s flat, not much creativity, not very exciting, they’ve done the job, no more no less.
    Put yourself in the shoes of the record label exec: “damn this new record is not great, sales will be lower than expected, we may not recoup some of our marketing investments…let’s try to sell it to a brand”
    It’s been many years record labels are working on brand partnerships, with more or less success.

    This is just another brand partnership, at a larger scale, with a somehow intrusive method, but that’s it.
    Nothing to be outraged by or scared or whatever. Relax…

    • jw

      I still haven’t listened to it, but I’m not surprised it’s subpar. When you go from working with Brian Eno to working with the guy from One Direction, things are bound to fall flat.

      I didn’t realize the label negotiated the deal. But that makes absolutely perfect sense.

      U2 is making a desperate stab at relevancy, & recorded this record over & over again before landing on Dangermouse/One Direction bro. Sounds like U2 is going through an identity crisis, & they racked up a huge recording bill all the while. This smacks of the deal Azoff struck with Best Buy for Axl’s terminally overbudget Chinese Democracy. Of COURSE they would shop the exclusive to retailers, to guarantee that they’ll recoup U2’s extravagant recording costs.

    • There is+something

      Thank you man, this is most clever thing here in a long time.

  29. Anonymous 20 year old

    Ah I wish I used itunes. I’m in my twenties and plenty of people my age love U2, not just from their jams being in popular ipod commercials in the aughts either. I think u2 is established enough to give stuff away, they can count it under marketing. a beginner would be unwise to do the same though.

  30. Scott

    Thanks, I really appreciate the fact that these dumbass songs downloaded to my phone without my permission, and now fucking IOS won’t allow my to delete them again, because for some fucking reason they stayed around after I “deleted” them. Not to mention the fact that I can no longer seem to “redownload” the fucking album, meaning I cannot remove the songs from my iTunes unless I wipe my fucking phone. However if I do that, I’ll have to make a backup of my current data, which will mean these fucking songs will be put right back onto my phone. Why does it have to be so fucking difficult? I deleted the songs (other than 5 glitched ones) and I can still listen to them? What kind of fucking bullshit is that? No wonder people hate Apple.

  31. Ralph macchio

    As a computer tech, I’m constantly baffled why people would pay 2 to 3 times the amount for having computer components that you have no real control over content. Iphone and MAC users are phucking lemmings. Trust me I have to fix their sh!t and yes, including mac crap. My friend was smart enough to cancel his iPhone and get a proper open source Linux based Andriod phone. I say to you, don’t be a lemming, get something real, do some research or otherwise you DESERVE to get this crap.

  32. Kandi

    How do i get this shitty album OFF MY PHONE??? Fuck u U2 seriously. I hate ur music and dun support it even free, get this SHIT OFF MY PHONE I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS BAND THIS ALBUM OR ITUNES FOR DECIDING TO DO THIS!!! Now i hafta spend precious time scouring the internet for a way to get rid of this garbage, thanks a lot, not like i have better things to do with my time than try to not support a band i would have never supported to begin with. U suk ass.

  33. Kandi

    Yayyyyyyyyyy found the link to get it off and it’s all gone now, just do a google search for how to get u2 off ur iphone it’s the first link that comes up hafta go to istore/remove then sign in w ur apple id n password and click remove album, then u hafta wait a few mins for it to actually disappear. They had the right idea to offer it free for those who want it but forcing it on to ppl was just wrong… U2 raped my iphone :(

  34. Theboses

    People seem to be saying that U2 was paid lots of money to have Apple release this album for free. Well of course they got paid, everyone wants money. In economics we have a phrase “there is no free lunch” and pretty much this states that everything gets paid for even if the cost is not to you.
    People complaining that Apple was out of line for giving the album directly to your phone, you are all retards, its free want the hell are you complaining about just delete/hide it if you don’t want it.