Apple-U2 Duet Causes a 41% Drop in Social Sentiment

Free album actually leads to a bad week after 38 years of good ones

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Apple and U2, both launched in 1976, have each been brought down to earth in the last week in a fashion neither brand has likely experienced. All things considered, they can partly thank social media for that. For instance, the brands' 1997 efforts—Twentieth Anniversary Mac and Pop, respectively—were less than memorable, but then again, the fallout was minimal in the days before instant-backlash forums such as Facebook and Twitter.

Bottlenose looked into how each brand fared via social media in the last week, since Apple and U2 appeared on stage together to unveil their new products, the iPhone 6, Apple Watch and Songs of Innocence. The latter, U2's new record, came bundled for free with a purchase of the iPhone 6—but not everyone was pleased with the gesture by the two parties.

The Los Angeles-based analytics company found that social media sentiment for U2 dropped by 41 percent when comparing the week of Sept. 2-8 to Sept. 9-15. Frequent negative topics during the week of Sept. 9, per Bottlenose, included the following language: I’m Mad; Fucking Phone; Technology; Iphone; Google; U2 Apple; Twitter; Whole U2; Icloud; Hands; Ipod; Dear Apple.

Between Sept. 11 and 14, among Apple conversations, one of the top messages shared in social, Bottlenose says, was around the trend "U2 song." Its text read: "This isn’t even funny because yesterday I was listening to my music on my iPhone and all of a sudden U2 song starts playing and I am so confused."

And to be fair, U2 and Apple marketers are probably confused that a giveaway could become a controversy. But this one did, indeed: Apple had to release a U2 album removal tool earlier this week to make the debacle go away.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.