After a month, Apple ended the campaign that offered U2’s Songs of Innocence free of charge to all iTunes users. According to the company, during the period, 81 million people “experienced” the songs in the album, although many were dissatisfied to see their iPhones “invaded” with the surprise album.
Apple says that by “experiencing”, it means “listening”, including people who played on iTunes or listened to it on iTunes Radio and Beats Music. According to the company, about 5% of all users downloaded the album in full. There were 26 million downloads of the album in a complete way.
With the promotion, therefore, Apple managed to reach around 16% of its audience, which was certainly much more than what would have happened in a common disc release. To prove it, Eddy Cue, a company executive, told Billboard that since the store opened in 2003, only 14 million users had purchased U2 discs.
Even with the high reach, Apple managed to fix problems with its users because of the present. That’s because the music started appearing on the public’s iPhones and iPads without their asking, without a clear means to remove them, which generated complaints and forced the company to create a specific tool to make the disc disappear from the devices.