Lucky you. You may have downloaded that U2 album for free, but it cost Apple a lot of cash.
Right around $100 million, to be exact, according to multiple sources including The New York Times.
The band ‘s 13th album, Songs of Innocence, was available without charge to any and all iTunes subscribers – right around 500 million people –in celebration of Tuesday’s huge Apple event in Cupertino, Calif. (The one where they unveiled to the world “the best phones ever made.”)
But it wasn’t that easy to get one of the biggest rock bands in history to give out a freebie. Apple, according to The Times, struck a $100 million deal with the band and its label, Universal, that included an undisclosed fee and a marketing campaign.
Bono was open at Tuesday afternoon’s event that this kind of thing doesn’t happen easily, telling Apple CEO Tim Cook that, “First you would have to pay for it, because we’re not going in for the free music around here.”
And while he didn’t confirm the $100 million figure, the band’s manager, Guy Oseary, also didn’t deny it in an interview with Billboard on Thursday, saying, “U2 worked five years on this album, they poured blood, sweat, tears into project, and we were really confident with it. The goal was: how do we reach as many as possible?”
Meanwhile, he told The Times, “This is a gift from Apple to their customers. They bought it and they are giving it away.”
Songs of Innocence will be available for free on iTunes until Oct. 14.
But the question remains: Was it worth it?