Saturday, April 20, 2024

U2: Apple Says 26 Million Downloaded Free Album, But Only 70K Estimated Will Pay For It


Reality bites, doesn’t it?

Billboard reports Apple saying 26 million people downloaded U2’s free album “Songs of Innocence.” That’s nice. By Billboard’s estimate, however, only 70,000 will buy the physical CD when it drops on October 13th.

That’s about right. Which is why U2 opted for the iTunes giveaway rather than deal with the charts and public numbers. It doesn’t matter how many people took the “purchased” button and allowed “Songs of Innocence” into their machines. The real question is, who will pay for music at all? How many people are there to buy an album by a group of men over 50? And the answer is: 70,000. If you’re lucky.

Typical sales right now for almost every artist is far less than 70,000 in the first week. Dozens of acts have experienced shock this year with opening weeks of 25,000. That goes for current and young acts like Jennifer Hudson and Maroon 5. The latter group got a bump last week thanks to “Saturday Night Live.” But their “V” album has not been a wild success.

Meantime, the U2 album has a creepy, creepy cover. They should have stuck with no cover. Criminy.

U2 cover songs of innocence

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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