What Apple's U2 Stunt Really Says About the Future of Music

September 19, 2014 2:00 AM

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What Apple's U2 Stunt Really Says About the Future of Music

For eight days in a row, Songs of Innocence has nipped at my heels, beckoning less like a hungry puppy than a salty sea, washing my feet in its tides. The music bears (and bares) pain and joy in the way that only a U2 album can. It's frenetic, intuitive, calming, revealing. I haven't felt this way about an album in at least fifteen years. I didn't know how badly I needed it until I got it for free.

When Apple automated the push of U2's album Songs of Innocence into the iTunes libraries of more than a half billion people last week, it became the biggest release of all time. Apple paid U2, and we paid nothing. It was an act of brilliant calculation in which the world's biggest brand turned the w...

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