For some of us, the addition of U2's free new album, Songs of Innocence, was a nice surprise. The iTunes gift supposedly cost Apple around $100 million, which went to the band and its label, Universal. The album was distributed to around 500 million iTunes account holders.
"U2 worked five years on this album, they poured blood, sweat, tears into project, and we were really confident with it. The goal was: how do we reach as many as possible?" said the band's manager, Guy Oseary.
But what if you're not a fan of U2 and don't want the new album in your iTunes collection? Apple has a tool for that right here (opens in new tab), an opt-out page that removes the free songs from your iTunes music library and iTunes purchases.
However, this tool doesn't remove the album forever; the album will simply not be available to re-download as a previous purchase. Instead, if customers discover that they want the album at a later date, they must actually buy it.
For now, the album is free to everyone until October 13, 2014. "Never before have so many people owned one album, let alone on the day of its release," said Apple's promo page (opens in new tab).
Starting six days ago when the album was first introduced, many customers began complaining that Songs of Innocence showed up on the iPhone or iPad without permission. Some were clueless about the promotion while others simply didn't want a U2 album. The download should have been optional, not automatically dumped into every iOS device.
"You'll have noticed the album is free to U2.com'ers from the band," Bono said on U2's website. "It's also free to everyone on iTunes thanks to Apple. To celebrate the ten year anniversary of our iPod commercial, they bought it as a gift to give to all their music customers."
"For the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way… the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail," Bono added.