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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 13 December, 2019
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Here's what Apple reportedly spent on the new U2 album

Hint: It’s a LOT.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

LAST WEEK, U2 teamed up with Apple to ‘gift’ their new album Songs of Innocence for free to every person in the world with an iTunes account.

According to The Verge, that’s around 500 million people. So how much money would providing a free album to 500 million people cost?

Erm, lots.

Bono himself made it clear that they were being paid by Apple on stage at the launch last Tuesday, but Billboard reports that the company will spend $100 million on marketing the album. That’s not including the “undisclosed lump sum” to line the pockets of Bono et al.

One hundred million dollars.

Guy Oseary, who replaced Paul McGuinness as the manager of U2, told the music publication that the band aren’t finished working with Apple:

We’re working on other things as well with Apple that have to do with how music is head and innovation… This is a long relationship.

And how is the multi-million dollar album being received? The reviews have been filtering down during the week, and they’re…patchy.

Here’s a sample:

  • Pitchfork gave it an underwhelming 4.6/10, with critic Rob Mitchum calling it a “intentionally formless” and a “blank message”. 
  • Rolling Stone gives it five stars, remarking on Bono’s “striking” lyrics and the “enraged stutter” of the Edge’s guitar.
  • NME plumped for 4/10, branding it “turgid” and “cheap.” Ouch.
  • The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis gave it three out of five stars – it’s “listenable, but not the grand return [U2] clearly crave”.

Previously: U2 just unveiled their album and released it for free>

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