Bono takes “full responsibility” for the U2 album that was added to your iTunes in 2014

He originally hoped it would be “a gift to people”.

Bono with U2

Image: Han Myung-Gu / Getty

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Bono of U2 has opened up on why he wanted Apple to give away U2’s album for free in his upcoming biography, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story.

You may remember back in 2014 when U2’s record Songs Of Innocence randomly appeared in your iTunes library. Well, Bono has since taken time to reflect on the decision that caused an uproar.

The album, which hosted tracks such as Every Breaking Wave and Song For Someone, was supposed to have been seen as a gift, but iTunes users weren’t happy when they found out that there was no way to delete it (at first).

In his upcoming biography, he spoke of the mishap noting he takes “full responsibility” for the backlash the decision caused. He wrote (via The Guardian) that Apple CEO Tim Cook questioned why he wanted to give away his music for free, given that the idea of iTunes was to ensure that artists were getting paid.

Bono explained, “‘No,’ I said, ‘I don’t think we give it away free. I think you pay us for it, and then you give it away free, as a gift to people. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Like when Netflix buys the movie and gives it away to subscribers.’”

Cook remained unsure on the concept, although as we all know, it went ahead.

Bono later concluded, “I’d thought if we could just put our music within reach of people, they might choose to reach out toward it. Not quite. As one social media wisecracker put it, ‘Woke up this morning to find Bono in my kitchen, drinking my coffee, wearing my dressing gown, reading my paper.’ Or, less kind, ‘The free U2 album is overpriced.’ Mea culpa.”

Despite the uproar, Bono does note that the band “learned a lesson” from the mayhem.

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