Apple is spending over $US100 million on the “free” U2 album that it gave all iTunes users.
The New York Times reports: “To release U2’s album free, Apple paid the band and Universal an unspecified fee as a blanket royalty and committed to a marketing campaign for the band worth up to $US100 million, according to several people briefed on the deal.”
The money doesn’t matter, as it comes out to about 0.06% of Apple’s $US164 billion in cash. And the U2 marketing also benefits Apple because the ads are about Apple and iTunes.
Bono had previously told Time that he wasn’t giving away his music for free: “We were paid … I don’t believe in free music. Music is a sacrament.”
While we’re sure some people were happy to get a free U2 album, we saw a lot of snarking and sniping from people who didn’t like or want the album in their music collection.
Sasha Frere-Jones, a critic at The New Yorker, had one the harshest reactions to the U2-iTunes album: “Don’t shove your music into people’s homes. A U2 album that some would have taken seriously was instead turned into an album that seems as pointless as it probably is. Lack of consent is not the future.”