Apple CEO Tim Cook initially told U2 there was ‘something not right’ about giving their album away for free on iTunes, according to Bono

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 10, 2019.
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook told U2 there was “something not right” about giving their art away for free.
  • Cook also questioned whether the album would only go out to U2 fans, Bono said in a new memoir.
  • U2’s “Songs of Innocence” album was given away for free to 500 million iTunes store users in 2014.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told U2 there was “something not right” about giving their art away for free, the band’s frontman Bono has said in a new memoir.

In 2014, U2’s “Songs of Innocence” album was given away to 500 million iTunes store users. Instead of giving users the option to download the album, Apple automatically put the music on their devices.

The move was criticized and, as Bono reflected in a memoir extract published in the Guardian, the band “bumped into a serious discussion about the access of big tech to our lives.”

At the time of the giveaway, Sasha Frere-Jones, who was then a critic at the New Yorker, criticized the move. He said: “A U2 album that some would have taken seriously was instead turned into an album that seems as pointless as it probably is. Lack of consent is not the future.”

Bono said Cook originally took issue with distributing the album for free, telling the musician: “But the whole point of what we’re trying to do at Apple is to not give away music free. The point is to make sure musicians get paid.”

Bono added that Cook also questioned whether the album would only go out to U2 fans. The singer suggested that Apple pay the band for the album and then give it away to users, saying “it’s their choice whether they want to listen to it.”

Insider reached out to Apple for further comment on Bono’s claims, but did not immediately hear back.

U2 and Apple first engaged in a partnership in 2004 when the band featured in an iPod commercial and the tech company produced a special-edition U2-branded iPod.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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