Apple iTunes users download 2 million copies of new U2 album; 17 other U2 albums in iTunes top 100 chart

“iTunes users have downloaded more than 2 million copies of [U2’s] “Songs of Innocence” since Tuesday, according to people familiar with the album’s performance,” Peter Kafka reports for Re/code.

“One sign that Apple, U2 and the Universal Music Group, the band’s label, will all take as a positive is that the band’s back catalog seems to be selling very nicely on iTunes,” Kafka reports. “The music industry always expects new releases to spur the sales of old albums, but in this case iTunes buyers seem particularly receptive: Right now there are 17 old U2 albums on iTunes top 100 chart; a remastered version of ‘The Joshua Tree,’ the band’s 1987 release, is at the No. 12 spot.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple’s new TV spot “Echoes” featuring U2, iTunes and iPhone 6 goes into heavy rotation – September 11, 2014
Some iTunes users upset over Apple’s U2 album giveaway – September 11, 2014
Apple and U2 release ‘Songs of Innocence’ exclusively for iTunes Store customers – September 9, 2014


  1. Anybody else have problems finding this?

    I looked a dozen times for it before I thought to check my iTunes preferences, the the Store tab, and see that my preference for “Show iTunes in the Cloud purchases” was not turned on.


    1. I tried suggestions from several people. The one that worked for me is:

      Friday, September 12, 2014 – 2:15 am · Reply

      I didn’t find it either at first. But when I went to my iTunes Store, under “Music Quick Links” on the right side of the home page, there is a link that says “Purchased.” When I clicked on that I found the album and was able to download it to my computer. It then showed up in my library.

      I went to the Quick Links, selected “Not on my computer” near the top right. Then I selected U2 from the list on the left-hand side and clicked on the iCloud symbol in the top right corner of the album icon.

    2. It also downloaded exceedingly fast compared with my prior experience. I have had a 30+ Mbps internet connection for a couple of years, but iTunes never worked this fast before. The entire album downloaded very quickly. Has Apple juiced its iTunes bandwidth using those new server farms?

  2. Is U2 really the best Apple can get (partially rhetorical question) ? Or is just the biggest PR RDF ?

    As for myself, I’m simply not interested. My favorite new stuff is not in iTunes.

    1. Well they are one of the best rock bands ever, so I guess it would be hard to get better . Perhaps they can please u next time and land justin bieber – if he’s not in jail that is

  3. It’s a great recording. U2 is probably the last great rock band so I’m going to enjoy the swan song of rock in this recording. I expect rock music is going to be hard to find from here on in, with the possible exception of perhaps Linkin Park or Foo Fighters. There are no more rock bands of note on the horizon or likely to get attention.

  4. Is 2 mil really a good number? It went out for free to 800 million accounts, right? You would think just the auto downloads would get 50 million…
    U2 isn’t my cup of tea these days, but I’m always surprised when folks complain about getting stuff for free.

    1. Yes, in this day and age, that is a HUGE number for an album. And Jim, if you can’t find good bands these days, you are paying way too much attention to commercial music, no offense intended. Though I’m not a U2 acolyte, I have to give them credit for writing material like this so far into the game. Music is cyclical, if you think rock is passé, just wait until the day hip-hop is also passé (some would say it’s glory days are already gone as well). It happened with all popular music, everything from classical to jazz to rock to hip hop to acid house – who gives a ****? I won’t ignore anyone still actually putting their heart into it, whatever their mode of expression, whatever the hipster bloggers of the day may think (hint: there have *always* been hipster critics, long before there was even such a thing as the internet or Twitter).

      While I have no doubt that Apple paid them an assload for this, I applaud their ability to still write meaningful songs after so much time.

      1. I totally agree that 2 mil is fantastic for an album, absolutely. But with so many accounts, you would think the number would be higher on a free download. Maybe it will just take more time for people to find out it’s there…
        (thanks for the clarification @Cubert, 500 instead of 800 mil… still a huge number)

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