During U2‘s Facebook chat on Tuesday (Oct. 14), members of the band answered questions sent in from fans in an intimate in-the-round Q&A discussion.
Fan Harriet Madeleine Jobson brought up U2’s new album Songs of Innocence which was distributed freely on iTunes to users’ playlists. She asked, “Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to people’s playlists ever again? It’s really rude.”
U2’s frontman Bono responded sincerely with, “Oops. I’m sorry about that. I had this beautiful idea. Might have got carried away with ourselves. Artists are prone to that kind of thing. A drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years mightn’t be heard. There’s a lot of noise out there. I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it.”
While many fans were excited to receive the full album at no cost, there was so much negative feedback that iTunes quickly gave directions to users on how to remove the album from their library.
There has been backlash from the music industry as well. Some industry members believe the free distribution devalues music and fuels consumers’ declining willingness to pay for it.
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