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    Bono Addressed That U2 iTunes Album Controversy In His New Memoir, And Here's What He Said

    In an exclusive excerpt from his new memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, humanitarian and U2 lead singer Bono finally apologized for the time everyone was forced to listen to their album on iTunes.

    Bono has expressed his regret over that U2 iTunes album controversy in an exclusive excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, shared with the Guardian.

    Bono onstage

    On that fateful day of Oct. 13, 2014, everybody and their mama had an iTunes account. It was the good ol' days of spending our money on our favorite tracks individually before we officially decided if we wanted to purchase the entire album.

    But Bono was dead set on changing the world of downloadable music forever. He recalled thinking, We should give it away to everybody. It’s their choice whether they want to listen to it.

    The Edge and Bono from U2 standing together

    U2's album Songs of Innocence was forcibly made available to every one of the 500 million–plus users of iTunes for free. You would think the world would be excited about free music, but many were upset when the album was automatically added to the "purchased" section of their music libraries.

    The disruption caused a lot of conversation around consumer consent, and fellow musicians even claimed that it devalued the music.

    In Bono's memoir, he recalled the meeting he had with Apple CEO Tim Cook when they devised the dubious plan to secretly bombard everyone with free music.

    Tim Cook onstage with U2 as he and Bono hold up their hands together

    Tim wasn't feeling it. "You mean we pay for the album and then just distribute it?" Bono eventually inspired him by comparing the move to Netflix's method of purchasing movies and giving them away to subscribers. "But we’re not a subscription organization," Tim said at first.

    The iTunes logo with a pair of headphones

    "Not yet. Let ours be the first," Bono replied.

    U2 and Tim onstage promoting the iTunes plan

    Bono has recognized the controversy of forcing the album on iTunes users in hindsight and formally apologized for it.

    “I take full responsibility. Not Guy O, not Edge, not Adam, not Larry, not Tim Cook, not Eddy Cue. I’d thought if we could just put our music within reach of people, they might choose to reach out toward it. Not quite.”

    The band U2

    On behalf of the iTunes users of 2014, we accept your apology, Bono. Just don't do it again.