U2 joined Tim Cook, Apple CEO, at the official iPhone 6 launch event and went through what Cook labeled as being “the largest album launch of all time”. However, the launch has been met with criticism by the music industry. 

In case you are not aware of this, U2’s 13th studio album, named “Songs Of Innocence”, is now available for free on iTunes, as a part of the launch event. The album was offered under a freemium method, in a hope of making more money through other sources like concert tickets.

Apple basically gave away U2’s album through iTunes and even wrote a page highlighting how to delete Songs Of Innocence from the library in the event that people do not like it, an initiative that is interesting.

The music industry did not react well because it is rumoured that Apple paid $100 million for U2’s efforts. At the same time, a lot of emphasis was put on the word “Free” during the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Keith Nelson, Buckcherry guitarist, attacked U2 in a recent interview by saying:

“I think music has been devalued in the eyes of the consumer, to the point now where a band like U2 decides to just give its music away and basically tell people that their music isn’t worth anything.

I’m sure the band got paid, so they made their money, but they’ve sent a message to everyone that music is free, and that’s disturbing. It’s easy to do that when you’re a multi-millionaire-billionaire and money isn’t really something that you worry about, but when you’re a working rock and roll band and you count on every dollar, it’s disappointing to see someone do that. “

The U2 freemium move is a sign that the industry adapts and now takes radical moves in order to survive. The strategy is simple since U2 was featured on the largest tech launch of the year and can reach a wider audience, thus selling more records on the long run.

However, what can the small bands do? They cannot get support from Apple. Does this mean that music is about to change? What do you think?