U2 has a new album, and if you have an iTunes account, you already own it. Apple dropped a few big pieces of news today, including the unveiling of the "bigger than bigger" iPhone 6, the anticipated Watch and the news that not only has U2 dropped a brand new album, titled Songs of Innocence, but it's already in the iTunes libraries of all 500 million+ iTunes customers worldwide, just waiting to be downloaded (for free). That's 119 countries with the iTunes Store, and specifically to iTunes customers who are 13 years or older, if we're getting technical and minding Apple's fine print here.
Songs of Innocence is available exclusively on iTunes and will be through October 13. Not only has Apple already added Songs of Innocence to all iTunes accounts, but starting tomorrow, the album will also be accessible on iTunes Radio. Songs of Innocence consists of eleven tracks and a digital booklet. As Apple enthusiastically points out, "never before have so many people owned one album, let alone on the same day of its release."
In terms of Songs of Innocence being the "most owned" album thanks to iTunes actually delivering it to their customers (as opposed to just making it available and free) there's obviously a pretty major technicality fixed to this impressive feat. But on the other hand, this move will surely bring plenty of attention to U2's latest set of songs, between fans who would've purchased Songs of Innocence the day of release anyway, those who would have purchased it at some point after release day and those who wouldn't have purchased it at all but will check it out because, well, it's free music.
Via Vogue China"s Angelica Cheung, here's a shot of U2 on stage at Apple's keynote, and you can see the album art on the screen behind them:
Apple's site says U2's latest album finds its roots "in the band's early and lifelong influences, including the Ramones, Bob Dylan and the Clash." The site goes on to note that this album is "a collection of songwriting and music made possible only by shared time and life experiences."
Apple users can access the songs on their iOS device (in the Music app), at iTunes, on iTunes Radio (starting September 10) and Beats Music (also starting September 10.