U2 surprised everyone last week when they released their new album, Songs Of Innocence, for free to everyone who had iTunes or an Apple mobile device. While some people were less than thrilled to have the album pop up on their phone (and some others seemed confused about who this “U2” band was), the move did get the new album to almost 500 million listeners. However, the band’s association with Apple isn’t stopping there: in a new interview with Time, Bono talked about the band’s collaboration with Apple on a new platform for digital music.
In the interview, Bono describes the band’s project with Apple as an interactive audiovisual experience designed to get listeners interested in albums as a whole again. “[It’s] a format for music that can’t be pirated and will bring back album artwork in the most powerful way,” he said. “You can play with the lyrics or get behind the songs while you’re sitting on the subway with your iPad or on these big flat screens. You can see photography like you’ve never seen it before.”
The aim of the whole enterprise? To save music, according to Bono, who claims that the new platform “will be so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them in to buying music again–whole albums instead of just individual songs.” Well, no one ever said that they set low expectations for themselves.
This new format is 18 months away, according to Bono, at which time U2 plan to release a companion album to Songs Of Innocence titled Songs Of Experience.