While the story doesn’t give too many specifics, it does note that the project relates to “a new digital music format [the band hopes] will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music –whole albums as well as individual tracks.”
Although this sounds the kind of counterintuitive move that utterly goes against Apple’s most recent promotional music stunt (where it paid U2 and its record label a reported $100 million to put out its album for free), U2 notes that it’s thinking about more than just itself:
The point isn’t just to help U2 but less well known artists and others in the industry who can’t make money, as U2 does, from live performance. “Songwriters aren’t touring people,” says Bono. “Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn’t coming to a stadium near you.”
The TIME article also touches on the negative reaction to U2’s album giveaway, with band member Adam Clayton describing it as being “like everyone’s vomiting whatever their first impression is.”
Speaking personally, I’ll admit to not entirely “getting” the level of animosity that has led to some calling the U2/Apple deal an unmitigated disaster, although I do appreciate the point about the spam-like dissemination of content that, for a while at least, was impossible to delete.
With that said, given the strongly negative reaction to what Apple must have considered to be a positive move, hopefully the company’s next joint venture with U2 turns out a bit better.