Earlier this month, I was listening to music on my Iphone on shuffle, when a U2 song started to play. The song, “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone),” was one of eleven songs that I did not recall purchasing. Looking more into it I had soon realized that U2 and Apple had partnered up to distribute U2’s latest album “Songs of Innocence,” which is now the largest album purchase in history for FREE. Now giving away samples has always been a marketing strategy on a smaller scale, but to give away an entire album for free….
The gift from Apple of course had a side deal with U2 in order to buy the album and distribute it freely to half a billion customers. The benefits for this bold marketing scheme has created a vast amount of conversation (positive and negative) for both U2 and Apple.
Earlier in the year Beyonce distributed a surprise album only using word of mouth to market. Seeing the success with that had to have played a role in the decision for U2 and Apple to seek such innovative marketing techniques, much more aggressive techniques. However, there is a famous saying that Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) and Bono (U2 singer) did not recall. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
The Apple customers are speaking up against the generous gift from Cook. Complaining to the point that Apple has now created an easy walk through to remove the new album from all Apple devices. After spending again roughly $100 million dollars on an ad campaign to distribute the new album, people are complaining about it. As a college student anything free is good enough for me, but then again Apple should have at least offered the album to its customers for free. Giving customers an option would have been much better than forcing it into Iphones with the new software upgrade.
So this brings us to the point, was the move worth it? An attempt to draw more attention for U2’s upcoming tour and encourage more people to sign up for Itunes, which if you do not have at this point you are behind the eight ball. Could this be the turning point that other innovators need to bring down a monopoly named after a fruit? Or was this all a plan to gather the attention of the media and customers indirectly in order to bring more attention to the Iphone 6 and new Apple watch?