Apple and U2
At the Apple Event on September 9th, U2 released their new album “Songs of Innocence” free on i-tunes. The band was paid $100 million by Apple for this. It instantly became the biggest album launch of all time at the push of a button, but, what does this do for the music industry?
Free doesn’t mean good. This was a nice payday for the band, who will release the album as a paid product in October. They will no doubt get a few royalty checks in there too.
Finally, Apple have made it easier from me to delete the album from my library. I didnt ask for the album free or not.
U2 LLC., Tax Havens and Hypocrisy
U2 came out of the privileged side of Dublin in the late 1970s, drawing on influences from Joy Division and the punk scene. As they became more successful and internationally known they began working with Flood, Brian Eno, and Daniel Lanois as production became bigger.
U2 will not pay a penny in taxes of this money, or any of income past or future in Ireland as they have relocated their company U2 LLC. to the Netherlands to avoid paying taxes. This means that Ireland, an economy that has crashed since 2008, a country where citizens have ben emigrating by the planeload to Australia and Canada, will not benefit from the success that U2 is enjoying.
I am Irish and grew up in Dublin in the 80s, but I am not a fan of U2. I think that they really are mediocre as a band, the production team behind them does the leg work. “Flood,” the producer was called in again to make the band's songs sound good.
How will this album release affect the music industry?
Do U2 care about the up and coming bands or music in general anymore? Bono (Paul Hewson) spends most of his time on camera showing the world the poverty stricken areas of Africa and bringing awareness to Aids, but where has he been vocal or advocate of the Irish economy, the country that made them famous in the first place? I haven’t heard him donate money or pay Taxes into the Irish economy, too busy getting with Facebook (FB) and Apple (AAPL) stocks and jetting to his Spiderman shows in New York.
For a Supergroup with no limits on money, media exposure, and friends in the industry, this is not a major coup. The music itself has become bland and tasteless with quality being sacrificed. If you need proof of this see where One Direction and Justin Bieber are today versus quality bands.
With the demise of radio and record lables, along with a flood of alternative music and more EDM, County, and Hip Hop than I could care to listen too, it seems that the music business, and it is a business, places creativity as a last gauge of the bands success.
In the 80s and 90s independent music was everywhere, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, and Prodigy became big by doing it the old fashioned way, they released great music and played shows all over nightly. There would be no record company that would take a chance if they the business was the same as today. Sales, Money and Marketing, create a product (Band) and sell it.
U2 Sold Out Long Ago
The band will go on the road with another overly exaggerated show, selling out stadiums at $200 a ticket, and put another $700 million in the bank tax free, but will not help their own country. The band have sold out long ago, they sold out their country, the music industry and every step of the way I can hear the “Fly” saying, “there is a sucker born every minute”.