Most of us love free stuff, I do. But I must say I was surprised and confused when U2’s new album “Songs of Innocence” popped up in my iTunes library over the weekend.
“After five years, U2 has a new album? How did this get on my phone?” I had so many questions.
As a consumer reporter, I immediately thought I’d been hacked. First Home Depot, now iTunes. What is happening to my life and online accounts?
Turns out, it was all Apple’s idea of a marketing collaboration with U2. An expensive one, too. The New York Times reports Apple spent $100 million on the campaign.
Apple didn’t just give away “Songs of Innocence” to fans who wanted it, the company decided to load the album onto 500 million iCloud accounts in 119 countries.
What could have been a “Beautiful Day” for the Irish rock group and Apple now has some consumer advocates hoisting the red flag up the pole about the way the album was distributed – calling it “invasive” and “worse than spam.”
Leader singer Bono posted on the band’s site, “For the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way… the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail.”
Apple is responding with a new removal tool to get rid of the album (click here). On the flip side, if you don’t have an iTunes account and want the album, you can get the tracks until October 13.