Whether you wanted it or not, U2’s new album is in the purchased section of your iTunes account.
Apple inked a $100 million deal with its favorite band to put Songs of Innocence in the hands of over 500 million iTunes users, and now the album has seen over two million downloads as a result—or about 0.4% of the iTunes Store’s user base.
At the end of Apple’s otherwise-newsworthy keynote earlier this week, Tim Cook brought U2 on stage to play a couple songs and have an awkward exchange about giving away their new music. By pressing an invisible button and touching their raised fingers together like that scene out of E.T., Cook and Bono put the album Pitchfork calls “a blank message” on all our iPhones.
Since then, Apple has been promoting Songs of Innocence heavily through iTunes Radio and big banners on the store’s homepage. Whether it’s latest offering is a dud or not, U2 is certainly getting some mileage out of this deal. 17 of its old albums are on the top 100 chart in iTunes right now.
Many iTunes accounts are set to automatically download new purchases, so it’s unclear how many middle-aged white males actually sought out Songs of Innocence of their own free will.