Six months after Apple users were gifted with U2’s Songs of Innocence album (whether they wanted it or not), Rolling Stone asked The Edge what they would have done differently with what they know now.
The Edge responds: Lots of people, including me, don’t read the instructions. When you select automatic download on iOS, you’re signing up to be pushed free content. It’s not exactly small print, it’s just a box you tick or don’t. I understand how and why people got annoyed. But really, with all that’s going on in the world. . .come on. Apple and U2 were genuine about this whole thing. Apple were being generous and we were trying to do something different to get through the noise. There’s always a few teething problems when you’re in new territory. . .One of which was that people thought we were giving the album away, that we’d suddenly become all about free music, when the opposite is true. We fervently believe all artists should be paid for their work. But we, like every musician, have to look at other models of getting paid. We were in the position where we can take a chance like this and weather the storm. There’s some phrase about breaking eggs and omelets that’s probably appropriate here.