Bono is sorry he forced U2‘s 2014 album, Songs of Innocence, onto your iTunes.
“I take full responsibility,” he writes.
For those who don’t recall, U2 released Songs of Innocence by automatically uploading the album onto the library of every single iTunes user across the world, all for free. The strategy wasn’t exactly a hit with users, who criticized U2 for inserting the record into their library without their consent, while other artists and critics felt offering the album for free “devalued” the music.
In Surrender, Bono explains how he pitched the idea to Apple CEO Tim Cook by suggesting that the tech giant pay U2 for the album and then “give it away free, as a gift to people.”
“‘Like when Netflix buys the movie and gives it away to subscribers,'” Bono recalls saying. When asked about the iTunes users who maybe aren’t U2 fans, he replied, “It’s their choice whether they want to listen to it.”
“What was the worst that could happen?” Bono remembers thinking. “It would be like junk mail…Like taking our bottle of milk and leaving it on the doorstep of every house in the neighborhood.”
Eight years later, Bono now admits, “We didn’t just put our bottle of milk at the door but in every fridge in every house in town.”
“In some cases we poured it on to the good people’s cornflakes,” he writes. “And some people like to pour their own milk. And others are lactose intolerant.”
“I’d thought if we could just put our music within reach of people, they might choose to reach out toward it,” he adds. “Not quite.”
Surrender arrives November 1.
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