Did U2 Get Upstaged By The iPhone?

Or maybe it was the Apple Watch.


For those with iTunes, Beats Music and iTunes Radio access, you’ve probably noticed something new and interesting floating around: a new U2 album. Hey now! This is big news. It’s been five years since U2 had an album of new songs. And this is the band that made “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” easily one of the best songs ever. But it hasn’t been met with quite the fanfare one would expect.

That’s not a comment on the music, but rather on the release. U2 both announced and released the album during yesterday’s big Apple event. This was an event that featured the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, Apple Pay and this guy. There’s only so much information that we can digest at one event.

As a result, the album release for one of the biggest bands in the world has been a little muted.

The music will be an Apple exclusive until October 13 when it will be released far and wide. Tim Cook called it “the largest album release of all time,” which could be true, but no one is really talking about it.

These days, musicians are getting creative with the ways in which they release music. A song here. A song there. Find them on the internet. Here it first at an event. All of this is designed to stand out from the massive amount of noise there is both online and off.

The noise is even louder in the music industry when you consider all of the music festivals, streaming services, TV shows, YouTube and the other outlets available to someone looking to listen to music.

So it makes sense that to make a splash, you’ll want to go with an Apple event. (Apple paid for this exclusive, according to Bono, as a commemoration of their iPod commercial a decade ago.) Except there’s so much already going on there. And yesterday’s announcements weren’t related to music, so there wasn’t that synergy to draw people’s attention. “It was kind of a big deal when they teamed up back in the iPod days, but since the launch of the iPhone, the company’s new product announcements have been the most anticipated events of the tech world, and the buildup for this one was bigger than usual thanks to iWatch rumors,” writes Vulture. Things are tremendously different now.

So Beyonce still offers the best example of how to drain every ounce of buzz out of an album release.

-Do it in the middle of the night. Less news is happening so yours becomes a headline that carries through to the morning when people are scoping out what happened overnight.

-Keep the explanation to a minimum. This was a mistake Mariah Carey made. It’s music. People will listen, they’ll talk, either they like it or they won’t. They don’t need need an autobiography. Save it for the interviews.

-Take away some of the artificial fanfare. Let fans create it for you.