On Tuesday, U2 began giving away a nice present to fans who had an iTunes account, a free download of the band’s latest album, Songs of Innocence. It is being given away to an estimated 500 million people, but still, U2 will reap nice financial rewards from their new album, which is already getting rave critical reviews. That is because Apple pays bands a minimum of $2.00 for each album downloaded, even if it is offered for “free.”
Although U2’s Songs of Innocence will not hit retail outlets and digital retailers until October 14, and songs from it will not officially show up on Billboard’s album chart until that date, it is expected that the album will be number one with a bullet based, in large part, by their giving away more than half a billion albums as downloads. It is already accessible on the Apple-owned Beats. Songs of Innocence will very likely give U2 it’s eighth number one album on October 14.
Then, when Songs of Innocence becomes available to everyone else who does not have iTune accounts, the sales of the album will likely soar exponentially. According to Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s director of charts, in its first week out, U2’s last album, No Line On the Horizon (2009), had sales of almost “500,000 copies.”
Overall, there has been a marked decline in record sales. An album that sells less than 100,000 copies can still hit the number one spot on Billboard’s charts. Songs of Innocence is poised to debut quite well, indeed.
According to Anthony DeCurtis, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, he believes that Apple will also play a part in backing and supporting a tour that U2 might make for Songs of Innocence. DeCurtis said that artists are concentrating their efforts into making their albums “events.” Miley Cyrus made Bangerz into an “event” by singing on a wrecking ball nude and twerking on the VMAs. U2 made Songs of Innocence an “event” by giving away a ton of them to iTune subscribers on Tuesday.
The new Apple watch is cool and all that jazz, but fans of U2, especially those who had iTune accounts, were much more interested in learning that they could get the latest U2 album, Songs of Innocence, free, before it was officially released in retail outlets and digitally elsewhere. Advance word is that the songs on the album are not just good, but damn good.
What is more, U2 makes most of its money by touring. When frontman Bono and company tour to support Songs of Innocence, the band will likely make hundreds of millions of dollars. Not a bad payday at all, from giving away an album for “free.”
Apple will probably use some of the songs on Songs of Innocence to promote the iWatch and iPhone 6. Still, the company could have promoted both new products far more cheaply. The giveaway could, potentially, attract even more customers to subscribe to iTunes, though; but, the available time to download Songs of Innocence is just five weeks. When it hits stores on October 14, the giveaway will end and many new subscribers might very well delete the iTune app.
Apple might have decided, in part, to participate in the Songs of Innocence giveaway to seem relevant and “cool.” Possibly sales of the new iPhone 6 and the iWatch will not be any higher because of the giveaway and use of U2’s songs to promote its products, but people who like U2 might think somewhere in the backs of their heads that Apple is pretty cool for liking the same band that they like.
Fans of U2 who also happen to have an iTunes account, GET THIS ALBUM DOWNLOADED ASAP! Two of the many highlights on the album are California (There Is No End To Love) and Volcano. Please leave any comments below and enjoy the present that U2 and Apple is giving away for five weeks, U2’s latest album, Songs of Innocence!
Written By Douglas Cobb