In an interview with lead U2 singer Bono, born Paul David Hewson, Time magazine answered a questions close to almost every iTunes user’s heart: Why did I have a free U2 album uploaded into my music library last week?
The answer is simple, according to Bono. He began with his interpretation of what is a song.
“People say [songs] are like your kids, but that’s not true. They’re actually more like your parents,” Hewson said. “They tell you what to do, they tell you how to behave, these songs: we worked quite hard on them over the years, and we really didn’t want—they really didn’t want them to be ignored.”
Hewson said the deal with Apple was sealed quickly. U2 wanted to get the songs out to as many people as possible, but they needed someone to help them with the distribution.
“We went to Apple and we said ‘Look, we’re not interested in free music. We think music is undervalued. It’s a sacrament, as far as we’re concerned,'” Hewson said.
The group offered Apple Inc., in particular the current CEO Tim Cook, to buy their album “Songs of Innocence” and release it to the 500 million of iTunes users.
“Tim Cook is an unflappable man. He might have flapped a little bit, but not for long,” Hewson said.
After Apple purchased the album, however, the company did what might have cost them their reputation and more than a few appalled users. When iTunes users went into the iTunes app on September 10, 2014 (the day of the album’s official release), they found the U2 album “Songs of Innocence” already listed in their library, ready for download.
This of course sparked outrage for many users who accused the company of invading their privacy. Some accepted the free gift, but those who aren’t fans of the U2 even said that bad music was shoved down their throats.
According to Wired, users couldn’t delete the album because it showed up as a “past purchase.”
In response to the outcry, Apple removed the album from all of its users accounts and in turn set up a support page with instructions on how to get rid of the album if they had mistakenly downloaded it.
“Songs of Innocence” is still a free album offered by Apple and can be downloaded on the iTunes store through October 13, 2014.