Apple gives away new U2 album for free to iTunes users

Apple has exclusive rights to sell the album until mid-October, continues long history with U2

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 9, 2014
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Tuesday was a very big day for Apple, as it saw the release of a slew of new products, including bigger and better iPhones, the company's first wearable and a new payments system. There is about to be some very, very cool stuff unleashed on the market.

As if to put a cherry on top of that sundae, now the company has released one more bit of news: it has managed to get the exclusive rights to U2's newest album on iTunes for the next five weeks. And, to celebrate that, it is giving the album away to every iTunes customer in 119 countries, completely free of charge. 

That does not only extend to existing users; any customer who signs up for an iTunes Store account in the next five weeks will also get the album as a free gift. The album is also being made available for streaming via iTunes Radio, and will be available on Apple's newly acquired streaming service, Beats Music.

The album is called Songs of Innocence, and is the bands' first album since 2009's No Line on the Horizon. It consists of 11 tracks and, through this deal more than half a billion copies of it will be distributed, making it the "largest album release ever," according to Apple. 

Apple and U2 have a long history together; remember those commercials they did for the iPod back in 2007? 

U2 also partnered with Apple for the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003, and Apple worked with U2 to create “The Complete U2” box set together.

Apple alluded to that history as part of the reason they were excited to strike this deal.

“U2 has been an important part of Apple’s history in music and we’re thrilled to make ‘Songs of Innocence’ the largest album release ever,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said in a statement.

And it doesn't hurt hat this could potentially bring in a bunch of new customers eager to get their hands on the album for free.

“We get to share our love of music today by gifting this great new album to over half a billion iTunes customers around the world," said Cue.

Honestly, I barely even like U2 these days but as soon as I found out about this I immediately went and downloaded my free copy. Who am I to turn down free music?

Apple's new products

So here's what is new from Apple today.

The company Apple unveiled two new smartphones: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, which are both bigger, and thinner, than any previous version of the iPhone.

It unveiled Apple Pay, its new payments system, which allows iTunes users to use their already on file credit card to pay for goods and services.

And, finally, it unveiled its first ever wearable, called Apple Watch, which comes with a gyroscope, accelerometer, a heart rate sensor, and health and fitness apps'

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