Last week Apple and U2 made music history by offering the Irish outfits’ latest release, Songs of Innocence, as a free download to all iTunes users. Whilst undoubtedly having financial motives for both parties, the move is also a strong statement in support of the album format.
U2’s manager Guy Oseary recently told Billboard magazine that: “The band really wants people to engage with albums, they want them to support the art form of artwork and lyrics and video content and just get into their music in a much different way than an MP3 file. This is a long relationship.”
There are rumours that Apple are working on high-def audio support for iOS 8, but it seems that this latest collaboration could be part of a new plans to develop ways of interacting with lyric and artwork content whilst enjoying an album from a mobile device.
Whether or not it will spur more creative strategies to prolong the lifespan of the album remains to be seen, but it bodes well to see a band like U2 making these kinds of moves in support of the beloved LP format.