Major Label Executives: “U2’s Release Model Is Bad for Artists”

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Apple has the exclusive on U2’s Songs of Innocence until October 13th. After that, physical copies will be released and Billboard will start counting sales.

Billboard now has details on the physical version of the album, which thankfully won’t force itself upon potential customers (Songs of Innocence is on my iPad and I don’t want it there).

Retail stores will get a deluxe version of the album with four extra songs and between two and seven acoustic versions.  It will have a wholesale price of $12.90 and a list price of $19.98.  Retail stores will exclusively carry the deluxe version for five weeks.  Then, this version will also go up on iTunes.

Stores will also get a discount on the entire U2 catalogue. iTunes is already offering this discount.

Billboard said some stores are deciding whether or not to carry Songs of Innocence. Target and Amazon declined comment.

Competing label executives said they didn’t think the release model used for this album was good for the business. One executive says it will hurt smaller artists.

Universal Music Group (U2’s label) reportedly says that these competing executives are wrong.


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

18 Responses

  1. One Off Event for U2

    U2 just got access to 55 million computers. They are not concerned with this model. It’s all about U2 and Apple; not every other artist whom Apple wouldn’t want for their launch event anyway.

    • Paul Lanning

      Beyond all the hoopla, the album’s a stiff. Back in the days of physical tonnage, the skids would be on their way back before long.

  2. Anonymous

    And one of my ideas is this…

    Every creator, Artist/Producer/songwriter etc. Major or Indy, rip up the contract, consolidate our power, and get on with killing it and cutting out all the dead weight suits who are all stuck on some stone age stuff getting in the way constantly.

    We would all make more money, could hire our own people and kick out the shareholders who are just siphoning and all shortsighted quarterly stuff…

    They aren’t needed anymore for the most part, the old wheel is, well, old. Everyone could be handed the keys to their career etc.

    Anyways, just an idea i had the other day… But we know that will never happen!


    • Rodney

      I 100% agree. Cut out the middle man. Stop feeding into corporate America. All artists could easily go independent nowadays if they aren’t afraid.

  3. TuneHunter

    Yes, indeed, it is!

    It is not any model of any kind!
    Just blatant statement of disregard to value of music.

    Long time ago, in 1999 those 1/2B albums would bring $7.5 billion dollars (@ $14.99) or more than half of music industry revenues for 2014 (I call for decline to $14B)

    Let’s stop the showmanship and convert Radio and streaming to discovery based $100B music store!

    • Anonymous

      “disregard to value of music”

      Because Apple paid millions for U2’s new album?

    • Name2

      No one has ever bought a half-billion of any title. Not even in the heady days of 1999. And especially not at $14.99 a pop.

      More music-industry math at work.

  4. Anonymous

    “Songs of Innocence is on my iPad and I don’t want it there”

    Tragic, Nina — we feel for you. :(

    Competing label executives said they didn’t think the release model used for this album was good for the business”

    Hehe, surprise surprise. :)

    Repeat after me: The haters were wrong: Music is not free, it’s extremely valuable and Big Tech can’t live without it! Samsung bought 1m Jay-Z songs in 2013, Apple buys 500m U2 songs now. Tragic, indeed…

  5. There is something

    Since when major labels execs care about artists anyway ? They’re just pissed that another get the juicy deal from Apple.

        • Anonymous

          And no one is doing anything about it…


          Artists all need to come together strap up and start fucking crushing heads in…



    • Willis

      Your caps lock key appears to be broken.

      Bono is a man. He played the character MacPhisto during the ZooTV tour.

  6. Name2

    Jagger said that no one’s made money selling music since 1997.

    Putting his money where his mouth is, the Stones have only done one album of new material since that year. Everything else has been video, concert archives, and reissues featuring long-locked-away unreleased material.