Tuesday, 16 September 2014

U2, Apple, and you too: A beautiful day?

Admittedly, I am not a U2 fan. I feel the need to put that out there.

Bono single-handedly ensured he would never see a dime from me when he flew his favourite hat across the atlantic for a show (this was obviously before he knew or cared about global warming and climate change).

But anyhow, his band U2, on the back of the most profitable live tour of all time, have released their new album for free via Apple where 500 million users discovered the collection of songs in their libraries whether they wanted it or not.

I'm not too bothered about the alleged invasion: it's easy enough to delete. I'm more concerned about yet another huge band giving music away for free which adds to the perception that music is in fact free. U2 will recoup all costs from making this album if they haven't already done so a hundred times over by simply attaching themselves to Apple. Sales of their back catalogue have also increased in the last few days (albeit modestly) and I'm sure 2015 tour dates are on the cards..

Don't forget, musicians make more money from live music and licensing than they do from recorded music revenue. In this interesting article about the U2 deal, Pinar Dogan explains how more money can be made from giving music away for free.

Tim Ingham, editor of Music Week shares my concerns and his interesting back-and-forth debate with journalist Andrew Mueller on the Guardian website is one of the best articles written on the topic thus far.

Reactions have been largely unkind, and this article over on NME sums it all up by explaining how the stunt "is as damaging as piracy".

It will take some time for the dust to settle on this to see what it all means, but for now, it has gotten people talking about the value of recorded music, the relevance of the album format etc. and that keeps me stimulated.

Shame it wasn't a band I like though. Big fan of free stuff [insert gag about working pro-Bono...].

Tweet and greet @musicpiracblog

No comments:

Post a Comment