Trying to smooth things over after the rough release of their new album “Songs of Innocence” last month, U2 – or more specifically, Bono – apologized for the album giveaway fiasco that had many iTunes customers seething.
As part of a huge and longstanding partnership with Apple, U2 gave its new album to iTunes users, automatically downloading it onto people’s playlists. Some were so up in arms about the perceived intrusion that Apple introduced a tool to remove the music.
“Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to peoples [sic] playlists ever again? It’s really rude,” the group was asked during the Facebook Q&A.
Bono’s response: “Oops.”
He continued to chalk it up to the following: “Drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, dash of self-promotion, and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years mightn’t be heard.”
Very honest response to that question actually. And, put into PRNewser context, how many PRs aren’t guilty of the last two? Bono and the gang know that they need to go to great lengths to stand out from the crowd.
At the same time, the question reiterates that despite the seeming chaos of the internet, there’s an online etiquette that people and brands can’t break without experiencing backlash. Overstepping boundaries and actively annoying people with your message with draw the wrath of the masses.
The band may also be suffering from a relationship with Apple that’s a little too close for comfort. The music video for “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone),” the song that’s in a recent Apple commercial, came out today. Entertainment Weekly says the video is essentially the ad in slightly different packaging.
“Sort of like how you can’t listen to Songs of Innocence without at some point recalling how it emerged from a corporate deal with Apple, you can’t watch this video without recalling that a nearly identical version of it was an actual commercial for the company,” the magazine says.
People love Apple. And (some) people love U2. But together, to use Bono’s words, there might be something too self-promotional for the public to take at this point.