U2 had been rumored to be making an appearance at the iPhone event out in Cupertino today and they didn't disappoint. Not only did Bono and co show up and play their latest single for the gathered masses but they also had a gift for the "half a billion iTunes users" in the world. Their new album for free.
Until October 13 the new album will be exclusive to iTunes, iTunes Radio and Beats Music, and customers in 119 countries around the world will be able to download and keep a copy completely free. And that's not half bad.
Despite the on-stage messages we're not finding the download link live at the moment, but we'll update with it here as and when it appears.
Update: As pointed out in the comments (and now seen on our devices) the album should just show up as a purchased but not downloaded album for you in iTunes on your iOS device, Mac or Windows PC. It'll probably take some time for everyone to get their hands on it so be patient, you've got plenty of time!
Apple & U2 Release "Songs of Innocence" Exclusively for iTunes Store Customers Biggest Album Release Ever in History—Gifted to Over Half a Billion Music Fans by Apple
CUPERTINO, California—September 9, 2014—Apple®, Universal Music Group and legendary rock band U2 today announced the release of the album "Songs of Innocence," which Apple is gifting to iTunes Store® customers around the world, making it the largest album release ever with over half a billion copies distributed. The album features 11 new songs from the band and charts their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk rock to early 80s electronica and soul. The album is free for iTunes Store account holders in 119 countries and is available exclusively on iTunes® for the next five weeks.
"From the very beginning U2 have always wanted our music to reach as many people as possible, the clue is in our name I suppose—so today is kind of mind-blowing to us. The most personal album we've written could be shared with half a billion people… by hitting send. If only songwriting was that easy," said U2 lead singer Bono. "It's exciting and humbling to think that people who don't know U2 or listen to rock music for that matter might check us out. Working with Apple is always a blast. They only want to do things that haven't been done before—that's a thrill to be part of."
"U2 has been an important part of Apple's history in music and we're thrilled to make 'Songs of Innocence' the largest album release ever," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "We get to share our love of music today by gifting this great new album to over half a billion iTunes customers around the world."
"Songs of Innocence" features 11 new songs from the band and is their most personal work to date, charting their earliest influences from 70s rock and punk rock to early 80s electronica and soul and giving insight into how and why the band came together and the relationships in and around them, their family and friendships. Recorded in New York, London, Los Angeles and Dublin the album is produced by Danger Mouse, along with Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Declan Gaffney and Flood.
Apple is gifting "Songs of Innocence" to iTunes Store account holders.* Customers who sign up for an iTunes Store account in the next five weeks will get the album as a gift. "Songs of Innocence" is also available to stream via iTunes Radio℠ and will be available on Beats Music℠.
Apple and U2 share a special connection in music. U2 was an important partner for the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003. Apple worked with U2 on the iPod® U2 Special Edition and created "The Complete U2" box set together. U2 continues to be one of the most popular bands ever on the iTunes Store. Apple has partnered with Bono and (RED) to fight for an AIDS-free generation by creating (PRODUCT)RED merchandise. More than $75 million has been generated by Apple for the Global Fund.
- "Songs of Innocence" is available to iTunes Store customers in the 119 countries featuring a music store, with an active account, and who are 13 years or older (or the equivalent minimum age in the relevant jurisdiction).
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.