The company made the announcement after the band performed at the end of the company’s two-hour press event, where it unveiled larger iPhones and the first Apple Watch, its foray into the wearable tech market.
“From the very beginning U2 have always wanted our music to reach as many people as possible, the clue is in our name I suppose—so today is kind of mind-blowing to us. The most personal album we’ve written could be shared with half a billion people… by hitting send. If only songwriting was that easy,” said U2 lead singer Bono. “It’s exciting and humbling to think that people who don’t know U2 or listen to rock music for that matter might check us out. Working with Apple is always a blast. They only want to do things that haven’t been done before—that’s a thrill to be part of.”
Apple is offering the U2 album to every iTunes customer (500 million worldwide) in 119 countries.
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“Songs of Innocence” features 11 new songs from the band. It’s the Irish rockers’ first studio album in five years.
Apple and U2’s surprise offer crashed the company’s servers shortly after the announcement.