Apple says U2's 'Songs of Innocence' album downloaded 26M times since debut

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited October 2014
Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue on Thursday said U2's "Songs of Innocence," which was offered for free to iTunes users, has been downloaded 26 million times since its release on Sept. 9.



In addition to full album downloads, Cue said a worldwide total of 81 million customers "experienced" tracks from the LP, either through iTunes or streaming on iTunes Radio and Beats Music, reports Billboard.

"To help put this into perspective, prior to this, 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003," Cue told the publication.

Labeled as a "gift" to iTunes users, U2 debuted its latest LP at Apple's iPhone 6 event in September with a live performance of the album's first single The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone).

While Apple made the album free to download, the company caught flak for foisting "Songs of Innocence" onto iTunes customers by linking the LP to all 500 million user accounts. For those who had automatic downloads enabled, the move resulted in unapproved downloads that took up valuable device storage and bandwidth. A special Web-based removal tool was activated a few days later for those not interested in Bono's latest production.

Apple reportedly paid $100 million in global marketing for the opportunity and Billboard estimates Universal Music Group may have netted $52 million for exclusive rights. The publication also estimated an alternate upfront fee at around $5 million, but neither Apple or U2 would comment on the matter.

Following iTunes exclusivity, "Songs of Innocence" is slated to hit digital and physical store shelves on Oct. 14 with ten bonus tracks not available on to users of Apple's music store. Using preorder metrics, Billboard estimates the physical deluxe edition could move around 70,000 units in the U.S.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40

    manual downloads? or Auto?

  • Reply 2 of 40
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,415member

    Weren't there 25.883 million complaints?

  • Reply 3 of 40
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,204member

    Likely broke the record for the most deleted album of all time too.

  • Reply 4 of 40
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    The album should have been called Songs of intrusiveness.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    ds92jzds92jz Posts: 90member
    No figures on how many times it's been deleted.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    Likely broke the record for the most deleted album of all time too.

    I doubt it.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    What the heck?! Apple gave me a free book I didn't buy! What is this "Winnie the Pooh" business? I didn't buy that! How dare apple pollute my iBooks with something I didn't order! Who the heck is A.A. Milne? How do I delete this off my iPhone?!?!
  • Reply 8 of 40
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member

    Breaking necks, cashing checks…way to go Apple!

  • Reply 9 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

     

    Likely broke the record for the most deleted album of all time too.


    LOL was going to say - I don't see the count for the MOST deleted album in everyones iTunes library.

     

     

    Edit - Wrong word use.

  • Reply 10 of 40
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,311member
    bucknbn wrote: »
    What the heck?! Apple gave me a free book I didn't buy! What is this "Winnie the Pooh" business? I didn't buy that! How dare apple pollute my iBooks with something I didn't order! Who the heck is A.A. Milne? How do I delete this off my iPhone?!?!

    Good point. Also I am pretty sure a free video or TV show which automatically appeared wouldn't piss people off.

    That said the album was mediocre at best.
  • Reply 11 of 40

    They gave it to 500M people and only 26M downloaded it? To me that translates into them not even being able to give it away on some level. I downloaded one song. It isn't getting much play. I wish Apple liked House music more than U2... That I would download. 

  • Reply 12 of 40
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,311member
    They gave it to 500M people and only 26M downloaded it? To me that translates into them not even being able to give it away on some level. I downloaded one song. It isn't getting much play. I wish Apple liked House music more than U2... That I would download. 

    Well the 500M is exaggerated. That includes people who signed up for iTunes years ago and haven't touched a Apple product since.

    My guess is 10% of active users downloaded it.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,094member
    Thank you Apple, despite the clumsy gift giving technique it was a grand gesture. I hope it's the start of a trend to periodically thank customers for their loyalty.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    Headline should read: "Apple says U2's 'Songs of Innocence' album UPLOADED 26M times since debut
  • Reply 15 of 40
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member

    As stated in the story:  "To help put this into perspective, prior to this, 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003," Cue told the publication.

     

    People need to realize that album sales are not generally where musicians make their money, it is a small part of the pie. Concerts and merchandise represent a much larger slice.

  • Reply 16 of 40
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    And immediately deleted 25.5 million times. Wonder if they'll release the number of times the tool they released to removed the unwanted album from iTunes libraries?
  • Reply 17 of 40
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    bucknbn wrote: »
    What the heck?! Apple gave me a free book I didn't buy! What is this "Winnie the Pooh" business? I didn't buy that! How dare apple pollute my iBooks with something I didn't order! Who the heck is A.A. Milne? How do I delete this off my iPhone?!?!

    I'd say the fact they had to release a tool to "ungift" the album speaks volumes, given the lack of similar reaction to other free gifts they've bestowed in the past, like the example you gave.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,588member
    Dear phone-ui-guy: the late 90s called. Said house was over back then.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    What a waste of $100Million. How many starving children could have been fed with that?
    Talk about back fired in your face
  • Reply 20 of 40
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,280member
    It's a good disc. Enjoy every song off it. Great to rhythm guitar against it.
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