U2 criticised for devaluing music

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 17 September 2014
Bono (L) and Adam Clayton (R)


U2 have been blasted by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) for "devaluing music" by giving away their new album for free

U2 have been blasted for "devaluing music" by giving away their new album.

The 'One' rockers' decision to make their 'Songs of Innocence' LP free on iTunes has been criticised by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) as being "as damaging as piracy" and alienating to fans who don't use Apple software.

He went on to say that the stunt was as damaging as piracy, as it devalues music.

ERA Chairman Paul Quirk said: "This promotion is a failure on so many levels. It devalues music, it alienates the majority of people who don't use iTunes and it disappoints those who prefer to shop in physical stores since few shops had U2 stock available. Giving away music like this is as damaging to the value of music as piracy, and those who will suffer most are the artists of tomorrow. U2 have had their career, but if one of the biggest rock bands in the world are prepared to give away their new album for free, how can we really expect the public to spend £10 on an album by a newcomer?"

Paul went on to slam the decision as a commercial failure, as the group sold just 60 back catalogue CDs in stores and 6,047 online following the new release.

He added: "This vindicates our view that giving away hundreds of millions of albums simply devalues music and runs the risk of alienating the 60% of the population who are not customers of iTunes.

"If one of the justifications of this stunt is that it would drive sales of U2's catalogue through the market as a whole, then so far at least it has been a dismal failure."

The move comes after Apple released a tool to allow customers to remove the album with one click following complaints from some users that it had automatically been downloaded.

A spokesperson said: "Some customers asked for the ability to delete 'Songs Of Innocence' from their library, so we set up itunes.com/soi-remove to let them easily do so. Any customer that needs additional help should contact AppleCare."


The legendary Irish rock group – comprised of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr – perform a number of shows as part of the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour.

Manchester Arena

Fri 19 Oct

£35–£190 / 0844 847 8000

Sat 20 Oct

£35–£190 / 0844 847 8000

The O2 Arena, London SE10

Tue 23 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 0844 856 0202

Wed 24 Oct

Prices to be confirmed / 0844 856 0202

The SSE Arena, Belfast

Sat 27 Oct

£38–£185 / 028 9073 9074

Sun 28 Oct

£38–£185 / 028 9073 9074

Post a comment