U2 asked Steve Jobs for Apple stock in exchange for appearing in a now-famous 2004 iPod commercial

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U2 band member Bono, left, holds a white iPod and a U2 Special Edition iPod as part of a partnership between Apple, U2 and Universal Music Group (UMG) as Apple CEO Steve Jobs looks on during a press conference in San Jose, California.
Steve Jobs called the exchange of Apple stock “a dealbreaker.”

  • U2 manager Paul McGuinness asked Steve Jobs for Apple stock for the band’s iPod commercial.
  • Steve Jobs turned down the request, but U2 later struck a deal to appear in the now-famous ad.
  • “Apple was on a ride to infinity and beyond; we were just lucky to hitch a lift,” Bono said.

U2’s manager Paul McGuinness asked Steve Jobs for Apple stock instead of cash for the band’s appearance in a 2004 iPod commercial, frontman Bono has said.

In an article for the Guardian, Bono said the band requested to feature in the commercial despite never having licensed their music for an advertisement before because Apple had “a history of groundbreaking commercials.” 

“We don’t want cash,” the musician told Steve Jobs. “We just want to be in the iPod commercial.”

When Steve Jobs said he “didn’t have the kind of budget” for U2, McGuinness, who was the band’s manager from 1978 to 2013, suggested “even a symbolic amount” of Apple stock in return for the band appearing in the ad.

Steve Jobs called the exchange of Apple stock “a dealbreaker” and declined the offer.

Bono added that despite the band going on to feature in the commercial, McGuinness always regretted losing the stock argument with the Apple founder. 

The band settled on a deal with the tech giant that included the release of a limited edition red and black iPod with U2 branding. 

As part of the partnership, Apple created the U2-branded iPod in 2004 and offered the band’s single “Vertigo” — which featured in the advisement — exclusively through its iTunes store. Apple also created the first-ever digital box set featuring all of U2’s albums.

Bono said in the article that thousands of people purchased the special edition iPod because it “wasn’t white” like previous Apple products. 

Bono added that the band’s deal and commercial with Apple allowed the band to tap into a younger audience and they benefited from riding the “Apple wave.”

“Apple was on a ride to infinity and beyond; we were just lucky to hitch a lift,” Bono said in the article.

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

Read the original article on Business Insider
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