U2’s album “Songs of Innocence” was released into the world in a nontraditional way: It was available as a free exclusive download to the 500 million people who use iTunes.
And it seems that experimental campaign paid off. The entire album was downloaded 26 million times after it was offered at Apple’s Sept. 9 event, Apple’s senior VP of internet software and services Eddy Cue told Billboard. And more than 81 million people heard songs from the album.
“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 said.
The album got off to kind of a rocky start when it was first announced. People didn’t understand how it got onto their phones, and Apple didn’t initially provide an easy way to get rid of it. It later put up a website helping people who didn’t want it get rid of it.
The album was also quite a big purchase for Apple. According to the New York Times, it cost Apple around $US100 million to give people the “free” album.
It’s only available for free until Oct. 14, however. After that, the physical version of the album will be released to all retailers and will include 10 bonus tracks that weren’t on the free version.