U2’s album spam PR stunt has destroyed decades of legacy quicker than hitting a delete button. In fact, many millions of Apple customers were looking for their delete button as soon as they were spammed with a product they did not opt-n for.
Angry Apple customers were loud and fast on social media to complain about the digital violation after hundreds of millions downloads were shoved onto people’s devices without permission.
What both Apple and U2 failed to understand is that not everyone is a U2 fan, especially not now. The band’s reputation went immediately to tatters but their bank balance is looking good.
Depending on various sources, including the Wall Street Journal, U2 is estimated to have done a $100 million deal with Apple to give their album away “for free”. The figure was not disputed by U2 manager Guy Oseary.
The songs from ‘Songs of Innocence’ are thought to be the shelved U2 album from March, the album that failed to see the light of day after two singles prior to its expected release went nowhere.
Those two singles ‘Ordinary Love’ (2013) and ‘Invisible (RED)’ (2014) had a minor chart impact in the UK (82 & 65 respectively), ‘Ordinary Love’ reached no. 84 in the USA but ‘Invisible’ failed to chart and both songs failed to make the ARIA Top 100 in Australia. Both songs were recorded during the ‘Songs of Innocence’ sessions but left off the album.
Since ‘Songs of Innocence’ a second album ‘Songs of Experience’ has also been completed. “If you like Songs of Innocence, stay with us for Songs of Experience. It should be ready soon enough…,” Bono said this week in a statement after the release of the spam album.
U2 will probably now struggle with another record in the marketplace.
One of the most searched phrases this week is “How to remove U2 album” with the topic a hot discussions in forums including Apple’s own Support Community.
For Apple, a company with more cash in the bank that a lot of countries, it was a waste of shareholder funds, but with that much money it was loose change.
For U2, selling out in the most corporate way may have a long-term impact as they now have to rebuild their reputation.
For a band that clearly doesn’t need the money, it was a strategically a bad decision but financially extremely rewarding. Lets hope it was worth it.
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