U2’s Songs of Innocence ‘Surprise’ Release Paid Off

A Private Study Shows Release Had Massive Impact

Remember back in September when U2’s new album Songs of Innocence mysteriously appeared in your iTunes? Remember the confusion and horror trying to remove those tracks? And then Bono actually apologized.

Well, Bono definitely remembers, because it’s making a killing for the band.

Powerhouse couple, Apple and U2, teamed up yet again to “gift” every Apple iOS user with a free digital copy of U2’s unreleased album for the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. According to a new study, 23% of all iOS music listeners listened to at least one track from Songs of Innocence more than once. This beat out Taylor Swift, currently sitting at 11%, and Katy Perry at 8%. What that means is that nearly a quarter of all music listeners with Apple products listened to U2.

What’s even better is that 95% of everyone who received the album listened to at least one song. Of course, “this is fantastic news” for the band, says Bono. All he wanted was to share his music with people.

Read the press release below:

“This is fantastic news. If these figures suggest that these songs still matter to people, then we’re knocked out. That’s all any songwriter wants.” — Bono

An independent study has concluded that U2 accounted for 23% of all music listened on iOS devices throughout January 2015.

The study, conducted by the Kantar Group, found that not only was U2 the most-listened-to act on the iOS platform, but that more users were listening to U2 than the second (Taylor Swift at 11%) and third (Katy Perry at 8%) runners-up combined.

Additionally, Kantar found that 95% of the U2 listeners listened to one or more tracks from the band’s current album, Songs Of Innocence.

“It’s nice to know that 5 months on so many people have discovered Songs of Innocence. In the end we just wanted people to hear the album. We took a big risk but today we can say that the experiment worked.” — The Edge