When U2 dropped their new record, Songs of Innocence, for free via iTunes, iTunes Radio and Beats last month, some of us probably deleted it from our phones straight off -- Apple even set up a site to facilitate the process. A pretty large number, however, downloaded it -- 26 million, to be exact.
Eddy Cue, Apple's senior VP of Internet software and services, revealed the numbers to Billboard this week, pointing out that "prior to this, 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003."
In addition, more than 81 million people total "experienced" the record -- in that they listened to songs via one of the many channels it was available.
When U2's new album found its way onto phones back in September -- after Apple's latest product launch -- some users were less than happy, and some were confused about the identity of the band, leading to the existence of such websites as Who Is U2?
That's what happens, however, when you target a very large audience -- iTunes has 500 million users -- with a very specific product. 95% of people decline to download it, even if it's free. When you're talking Apple numbers, however, 5% amounts to the population of New York times three -- which ain't that bad.
Do you think U2's free download scheme was a success? Were you one of the 26 million that partook in Innocence?