Group claim it is 'as damaging as piracy'
'The Songs Of Innocence'

So there's a new U2 album in the world. 'Songs Of Innocence' was released last week, installed rather surreptitiously on millions of iTunes accounts across the globe.

The move caused a near instant backlash. In fact, fans were so enraged that Apple rushed out a new tool specifically designed to remove 'Songs Of Innocence' from your system - download it HERE.

Curiously, the stunt didn't seem to help catalogue sales. All told, U2 sold an additional 60 physical albums last week, with some 6,047 following in the digital marketplace.

The Entertainment Retailers Association has stepped in to condemn the stunt. Issuing a statement, the group claimed: "This vindicates our view that giving away hundreds of millions of albums simply devalues music and runs the risk of alienating the 60% of the population who are not customers of iTunes. If one of the justifications of this stunt is that it would drive sales of U2's catalogue through the market as a whole, then so far at least it has been a dismal failure." Continuing, the note emphasises the role of the physical marketplace and argues that using iTunes as its sole outlet alienated many customers"

"This promotion is a failure on so many levels. It devalues music, it alienates the majority of people who don't use iTunes and it disappoints those who prefer to shop in physical stores since few shops had U2 stock available. Giving away music like this is as damaging to the value of music as piracy, and those who will suffer most are the artists of tomorrow."

"U2 have had their career, but if one of the biggest rock bands in the world are prepared to give away their new album for free, how can we really expect the public to spend £10 on an album by a newcomer?"

(via NME)

Related: The Cost Of Free Content, Or: The New U2 Album Is A Bit Pants

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