Monday, September 15, 2014

U2 hit 500 million iTunes users with free album - Ebono virus spreads

I watched numerous friends rant at length on social media last week  about discovering an unwanted U2 album Songs Of Innocence on their Apple devices, following the latest product announcement from Cupertino. It's a concept album about the band’s Dublin childhoods. Excited yet?

Giving away your album for free is very different from forcibly installing it on people's devices without their permission. That's generally called malware, or a virus.

Apple boss Tim Cook showed off some bigger size iPhones (which, while mimicking existing Android phones in size, have incredibly good camera/.video specs). He also came out with an Apple Watch, which The New Yorker's Sasha Frere Jones described as looking "like a Happy Meal prize."

Jones listened to the album (so you don't have to, nice one), and I'm glad he did, cos a U2 album that starts with a song called “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” is never gonna be good.

Jones describes it as  "One of those yo-ho-ho nautical camp sing-alongs that Coldplay loves to squeeze out. Not as good as “Pretty Hurts.” Also: don’t talk about Joey Ramone." Yep, that. He finishes his track by track review by saying "Don’t shove your music into people’s homes."

Bob Lefsetz detailed "How U2 Blew It", noting that "... How could the band be so stupid as to believe anybody would actually play their music, especially the 500 million it was pushed to. Where’s the afterplan? Nonexistent ...

"... We live in a pull economy. Nothing pisses off the audience more than pushing something they don’t want and didn’t ask for to their devices. Even if you don’t download the album, it’s sitting there in your purchases, pissing you off." 

Lefsetz compared it to the impact of Beyonce's latest album, saying that "at least Beyonce had the videos, somewhere to click to." 

Digital Music News noted Billboard saying it would not recognise the U2 album on its charts, as they do not chart albums given away for free. 

DMN also reported that "less than 48 hours after the surprise [release], the publication claimed that the album has only been accessed ‘about 200,000 times’ by iCloud account holders, or 0.04% overall."

This story hints that  Beats Electronics' Jimmy Iovine may have been behind the deal for the free U2 album. U2's deal with Apple includes a $100m marketing campaign. Reckon they are worth it? Possibly, if the follow up album Songs Of Experience is a smash hit. No pressure, guys.

Note: saw a friend mention the Ebono virus on FB, she'd heard it from someone at a record company. "The 'ebono' virus is to blame for the global outbreak of a U2 album in iTunes."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This has been stewing away within... and I don't even own Apple products!