Happened To Me. U2?
Wow. Just….wow. The public outcry about the free U2 album provided to anyone and everyone that has an Apple device (or uses iTunes, btw) bordered on wingnut crazy! I read some of the comments on a few of the tech blogs and at one point a person was basically making the argument that by Apple forcing them to download and listen to something they didn’t want was tantamount to a violation of their privacy.
Huh? Look, for the record I am a hardcore U2 fan and loved the idea of getting an album for free. But that bias aside, I read that statement, and just had to log off the Internet and go to bed. I am just not very tolerant when it comes to sweeping statements to make a point. First, I had to do a couple of Google searches to find out how to actually get the album, so I can tell you first hand that Apple didn’t force me to download it. Second, I had to take an action to click on a song in order to listen to it, so Apple didn’t force me to listen to the album.
Look. I get that people who aren’t U2 fans could get all bent out of shape about one of their albums popping up in their inventory. And I get that they should be able to express that displeasure and get Apple to fix that, which is what happened when Apple released the fix to remove the album. That’s it folks. It isn’t a conspiracy to force you to download and listen to music you don’t want to hear. It just isn’t.
What it is is a genius marketing move by U2. They reportedly got paid $100 million dollars for an album that had zero digital media to press, instant distribution to 500 million people and free advertising as part of Apple’s big launch of the year. That’s just smart business. Sure, it could be the start of a slippery slope of mega bands giving music away for free and driving down sales of indie musicians, disrupting their ability to make money for a living. But I think we can see by the backlash on this promotion, that just won’t be happening anytime soon.
And, for the record (no pun intended) the album was mediocre, and the first real disappointment from one of my favorite bands. I am not going to remove it, but I’m not going to listen too it again anytime soon.