Bono apologises for free U2 album on iTunes accounts


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I've seen a lot of criticism of U2 since this incident, but not a lot of criticism of Apple, who in my opinion is the primary party to blame. It's their platform, they funded this scheme, and used the album "release" to promote their products during the iPhone 6 launch. Lots of bands would have jumped at the chance to shove their music down the throats of hundreds of millions of people but it was Apple that allowed U2 this prize.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I blame both but your are right, Apple more.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Apple have made some pretty dumb decisions since Steve Jobs passed away. If Bono ever takes those shades off maybe he can help them find what they are looking for ;)

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

No, @shonanbb, it's on your Apple iDevice whether you plug into iTunes or not, like it or not. You have no option in the matter - you downloaded it automatically - you had no say in the matter.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

My iPod Nano doesn't have it. Oh wo oh, the sweetest thing!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well if you NEVER turned off the "automatic download settings" on your iTunes account then you will get every promotional "tid bit" they have to offer. When ever I download any app, I always opt out of automatic downloads or endless notifications. If you're offended by this, you can blame everyone involved, yourself, Apple iTunes and U2. But to single out just one of those three, seems a little disconnected from your own actions or lack of.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Good on Bono for apologising, but I agree with combinibento, I don't think that Bono is really responsible. I sincerely doubt he said, "Every Apple product MUST have these installed!!"... I think it was probably Apple's decision that the songs auto-downloaded.

And I can understand that people are peeved about a forced download. Even "essential" security updates require the user's permission. I'd say that it was a breach of the terms of service between Apple and the User.

Not a big deal in Japan, where data packets are cheap, but in some countries data is horrendously expensive.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If you don't want their album on your phone, try this link


0 ( +2 / -2 )

Perhaps Westboro Baptist Church members should picket Apple stores, calling them "U2 Enablers".

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow, U2 goes from anti-establishment rock band to world class spam machine.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Omg, what a first world problem! Arent these a bunch of whiners.

Apple releases a new OS version which includes new apps, new features whatever; yet the one thing you whine about is a FREE album that you could just remove if you wanted? Windows comes with Sample pictures/backgrounds and even audio tracks. I havent heard of Windows users moaning about tho

6 ( +9 / -3 )

He didn't apologise - was a typical smug, smarmy selfserving statement which was an apology in name only but actually a self justification.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I always dislike those "are you sure you want to do "x" ?" messages but in this case apple should have given their customers the choice.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Giving it away is fine! Stuffing it down our throats is another!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

BNL: Nope, not kidding. Same difference.

By the way, it is not on my device :-) I guess I am one of the few that read teh whole menu on how to set up iTunes and the iPad.

I love user agreements. I read them all.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

but... if this was One directiion, Lady Gaga (is she still "in"??) or Nicki Minaj... then everybody will be jumping on their toes.....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nothing is free, especially from Apple. Consumers will end up paying for it in one way or another.

Apple & U2 have been working together for many years. It's even Bono's picture used as the Artists icon in iTunes. Some may recall the special edition U2 ipod which Apple released in collaberation with U2 and which helped them appeal to a new younger genaration.

One thing they (Apple/U2) could have done is to give the money ($100 million!) to charity rather than keeping it themselves. That would have appeased many of those complaining including myself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Et tu Brute...?

You too Bono?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bono is a smug to$$er.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

U2 and Apple could have sent everyone a crisp new $20 bill and the same group would still be complaining.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Nothing is free, especially from Apple. Consumers will end up paying for it in one way or another.

Look at the publicity it got, greedy Apple maybe, stupid they are not

0 ( +0 / -0 )

U2 and Apple could have sent everyone a crisp new $20 bill and the same group would still be complaining.

$20 not enough to listen through their album, probably majority B-side tracks as usual.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Next stop for U2, Oasisville.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

what cracking bit of marketing! just think about it it would cost him a fortune to promote his rubbish CD but the news papers and the media have done it all for him! clever chap

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't see what all the fuss is about. Somebody gives you something for free, if you like it you keep it and use it, if you don't like it you chuck it, no harm done.

It takes up 'valuable iPhone storage space'? The smallest iPhone has what, 16GB of memory? The album is a bit over 100MB. If an extra 100MB messes up your iPhone, maybe you should buy a bigger, better model - they go up to 128GB.

Thank you Bono for my free album. I appreciate it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

these people would complain about santa clause, i think.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cleo: 10 x 100 quals 1 gigabyte. Would you want ten bands to do that to your memory?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

shonanbb - If it was stuff I liked, I'd find room for it. If it wasn't and I wanted/needed the memory, I'd chuck it. And after the roasting Bono has gone through, I don't think the other nine bands are going to bother, do you?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Lots of bands would have jumped at the chance to shove their music down the throats of hundreds of millions of people but it was Apple that allowed U2 this prize.

Yeah, but Apple wasn't the one in 2008 whose manager (presumably speaking for the band) who decried all the "illegal downloaders" downloading music for free. I guess U2 and their manager don't consider a forced download to be of the same genre?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Love U2 but don't have an i-tunes account so couldn't really care less. As Brian mentions above, it has certainly made people wonder what the album is like.....including me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While Apple did not disclose financial arrangements for the free release, U2 has collaborated for years on products with the company.

They paid U2 $100m. Everyone knows this...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Shonanbb: 1 gig is a drop in the bucket today, even on an ipad. If you set up itunes properly on any desktop you have tons upon tons of space available. Additionally, while it is a hassle, you can indeed just delete it.

So, while I do believe there should have been a different way to go about this (for example a pop up "Free CD! Download? Yes/No!), in spirit it was a very good gesture.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


I don't see what all the fuss is about.

For some reason, a lot of people have an irrational hatred of Apple.

For some other reason, a lot of other people really hate Bono.

Apple and Bono did something. Together.

To a certain segment of the population, this is the perfect storm. Giving away a free CD allows people to be outraged at Apple's violation of privacy AND rail against Bono for being a hypocrite.

It's a scandal. An outrage. A conspiracy.

It's like Hitler dressing up as Santa and stealing money from orphans to give to the Church of Satan.

Why aren't you outraged, Cleo? Can't you see how you've been violated?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So it WAS an automatic download onto peoples playlists after all. While not very considerate, as zichi points out with a good reason and explanation, it's still not spam.

As a couple of other commentators also pointed out, this is really just a problem of inconvenience.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ArtistAtLarge i don't agree, it is a privacy issue. They should have asked first, it is the same if steam/Xbox/Sony suddenly start to download free games to my HD, i like games but just give me a code and let me decide if i want it or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apology accepted, Bono. Still a legend in my books.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You gave away free stuff Bono? How dare you!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with afanof, people feel entitled to whine about the most ridiculous first world problems these days.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thank you Bono .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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