If you hate U2 and you hate free music even more, then you probably really
hated the band's surprise album drop
on iTunes last month.
And for that, Bono says he is sorry.
"Oops! Sorry about that," the singer says with a smile, responding to a "fan's" request that U2 "never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to people's playlists ever again."
In a video posted to Facebook on Tuesday, U2 answered fan questions submitted via the hashtag #U2NoFilter. The lighthearted topics ranged from that time "Benedict Cucumbers" (aka Benedict Cumberbatch
them at the Oscars, to the similarities between middle-aged band members
and middle-aged gang members.
But Bono got serious for a moment to explain their high profile Songs of Innocence release strategy, which saw the album automatically added to iTunes users' iCloud playlists free of charge but without warning or permission.
"I had this beautiful idea and we got carried away with ourselves," he said. "Artists are prone to that kind of thing. Drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we've poured our life into over the last few years might'n be heard. There's a lot of noise out there and I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it."
After the album was made available to 500 million people around the world, Billboard reports
that more than 81 million Apple customers "experienced" the songs through streams on iTunes, iTunes Radio and Beats Music. Additionally, Songs of Innocence
tallied a whopping 26 million complete downloads in the month following its digital release.
That said, Apple also had to contend with backlash from unhappy users, eventually developing a tool
to aid in removing U2's album from their playlists.
Let's be honest: you probably have way more embarrassing music on your iPod than one silly old U2 album. But if you happen to enjoy U2 and missed out on the iTunes drop -- or you just prefer a good old fashioned CD -- Songs of Innocence is now available on CD and vinyl (but not for free).