Bono Claims That The Free U2 Album On iTunes Was His Fault

Recall how U2 gave free an entire album’s worth of songs to all iTunes users worldwide back in 2014? And it turned out that a lot of them didn’t want that record to be in their music library, to the extent that Apple had to create a special tool to get rid of it? In a piece for The Guardian, Bono, the lead vocalist of U2, said, “That was completely my bad.”

Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, and Phil Schiller all expressed surprise when Bono approached them with the concept. “Are you talking about free music?” Cook said, according to Bono. “But the whole point… is to make sure musicians get paid.”

“‘No,’ I said, ‘I don’t think we give it away free. I think you pay us for it and then you give it away free, as a gift to people. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?'” wrote Bono.

“Tim Cook raised an eyebrow. ‘You mean we pay for the album and then just distribute it?’ I said, ‘Yeah, like when Netflix buys the movie and gives it away to subscribers.’ ‘But we’re not a subscription organization,'” said Cook in the excerpt.

“‘Not yet,’ Bono said. ‘Let ours be the first.’ Tim was not convinced. ‘And this is just to people who like U2?’ ‘Well,’ I replied, ‘I think we should give it away to everybody. It’s their choice whether they want to listen to it.”

The band learned a valuable lesson when they found that many individuals didn’t just dislike their music but didn’t even want it there in the first place.

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