U2 'Songs of Innocence' giveaway drives 2M downloads as back catalog sales soar

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited September 2014
More than 2 million copies of Irish rock band U2's new "Songs of Innocence" album have reportedly been downloaded through Apple's iTunes Music Store since the record's release earlier this week, enough to push it over the threshold for "double platinum" status, and have driven strong sales of U2's previous discography.




In addition to the strong download performance for Songs of Innocence, some 17 of the group's 27 previous albums have made their way into the iTunes top 100 chart. The numbers were first noted by Re/code.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and U2 frontman Bono announced a deal to give a free copy of the album to every iTunes customer at the end of Tuesday's introduction of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. Just before the announcement, U2 debuted the record's first single -- The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) -- in front of the packed auditorium.

As part of the promotion, which will also see Apple commit some $100 million to a marketing campaign featuring U2, the album will be available for free exclusively through iTunes, iTunes Radio, and Beats Music until Oct. 13.

Since the event, Apple has added Songs of Innocence as a free purchase to every active iTunes account. To quote Douglas Adams, "this has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move" -- users with "Automatically download new purchases" enabled on their devices saw their new purchase automatically downloaded, upsetting numerous people who would rather that had not happened.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    Only 2 million? That seems shockingly small, even though it represents a platinum status for sales. When an idiotic video of PewDiePie can garner tens of millions of hits on YouTube one wonders...
  • Reply 2 of 65
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,095member
    crushing demand then. . . :)
  • Reply 3 of 65
    It would be less but it was forced on people....LMAO
  • Reply 4 of 65

    It would be interesting to know if Apple paid U2 a flat fee or are paying per download.

  • Reply 5 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Only 2 million? That seems shockingly small, even though it represents a platinum status for sales. When an idiotic video of PewDiePie can garner tens of millions of hits on YouTube one wonders...

    Apple has something like 500 million iTunes customers and they added it to every single account. If even 10% of people have automatic downloads turned on then it was pushed to 50 million. I suspect the percentage with automatic downloads turned on is much higher.

     

    So the logical conclusion is that they're reporting 2 million people who don't have automatic downloads have chosen to download the album. Even that seems somewhat low to me given that it's free and the giveaway has been widely publicized.

  • Reply 6 of 65
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Is this a test of a new business model for iTunes, a way to counter the streaming services? Make deals with individual bands for their latest album and then push it out to all accounts automatically. The only potential problem with that idea is humorously expressed in the above Douglas Adams quote.
  • Reply 7 of 65

    2 Million is INFERIOR.  Also it is free.

  • Reply 8 of 65

    But this is U2... nobody actually wants this album. Apart from a few 50 year olds.

     

    All I see plastered all over the internet the past few days is how to remove the album. U2 were very clever in getting Apple to cough up money for this, cause the album just wouldn't have sold much without it.

  • Reply 9 of 65
    There would have been bitching and moaning no matter who the band was. There is no such thing as a universally loved music group.
  • Reply 10 of 65
    smarky wrote: »
    All I see plastered all over the internet the past few days is how to remove the album.

    That's because people who want the free album aren't plastering the Internet with questions about how to keep the album. The counting bias is built in.
  • Reply 11 of 65
    How pathetic.
    Real Apple fans know exactly how to remove an automatic download. Just stick it back in the Cloud and stop bitching about something that's free.
  • Reply 12 of 65
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smarky View Post

     

    But this is U2... nobody actually wants this album. Apart from a few 50 year olds.

     

    All I see plastered all over the Internet the past few days is how to remove the album. U2 were very clever in getting Apple to cough up money for this, cause the album just wouldn't have sold much without it.


    Mid 30's early 40's, not quite 50 just yet and I even went to the War concert. Their still a very successful band, a lot better than the crap that's being thrown around as music today. What new artists are you guys listening to nowadays. I like this guy....

     

    image 

  • Reply 13 of 65
    A free album from Apple? You know, I really like I you too, just not the band.
  • Reply 14 of 65

    I downloaded it since it was free. I wouldn't have purchased it, but it's nice to get free. As Relic said, better than a lot of what's out there.

     

    Btw, good to see you Relic!

  • Reply 15 of 65
    If the NY Times is right that Apple paid $100 million for these free downloads, the currently Apple has paid about $50 per download. That money would have been better spent offering free apps, music, and ebook downloads with the purchase of new Apple devices. That way, people would get what they want and they'd establish a buying habit.
  • Reply 16 of 65
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Go Faster View Post



    It would be less but it was forced on people....LMAO



    I honestly don't see the big deal. I have automatic downloads on, but the album merely showed up as a purchase. It didn't actually download it until, I instructed iTunes to do so.

  • Reply 17 of 65
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Relic View Post

     

    What new artists are you guys listening to nowadays. I like this guy....


    Wow, he has a great voice! This video has fun references for people who remember the computers of the 80s.

  • Reply 18 of 65

    exactly !

  • Reply 19 of 65
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member

    actually, this U2/Apple freebie may prove to generate the all time high of piss-ant spoiled two year old whiner pants wetting ever heard on the internet.

     

    don't want it? just don't go into your Purchased menu on the iTunes store page and click on it. oh poor poor me! that is so hard not to do!! oh the existential pain. oh they are so forcing me!!! mommy, help!

     

    don't like the Classic u2 sound? too old! no problem, you got the 20+ hit bands today that sell millions doing third rate imitations - go for them!!

     

    folks, just fuckin' grow up.

  • Reply 20 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Smarky View Post

     

    But this is U2... nobody actually wants this album. Apart from a few 50 year olds.

     

    All I see plastered all over the internet the past few days is how to remove the album. U2 were very clever in getting Apple to cough up money for this, cause the album just wouldn't have sold much without it.


    And funny my coworker, who just turned 50 on Thursday, said, "Wow, did you hear about the great U2 deal with iTunes?"

     

    I was like, yeah. (I'm 50, too).

     

    Like someone said, people should have been allowed to buy any album they liked.

     

    Maybe Apple has the demographics down of the generation that grew up with U2 and now has the disposable income with kids moving away and house getting paid off and salary up there...and buying Apple products....

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