Apple Working with U2 on New Music Format to Boost Digital Music Sales

Apple and U2 have a long history of working together, producing a special edition U2 iPod in 2008 and more recently releasing the band's latest album, "Songs of Innocence," for free. According to Time, Apple and U2 reportedly now are collaborating on a new music format that will boost digital music sales.

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Details on the music format or the secret project surrounding it were not revealed, but U2's Bono says it will help musicians sell more of their music.

Bono tells TIME he hopes that a new digital music format in the works will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music—whole albums as well as individual tracks. The point isn’t just to help U2 but less well known artists and others in the industry who can’t make money, as U2 does, from live performance. “Songwriters aren’t touring people,” says Bono. “Cole Porter wouldn’t have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn’t coming to a stadium near you.”

Digital music sales are declining as consumer interest in online streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora grows. According to Nielsen SoundScan data from the first half of 2014, digital album sales fell 15 percent year over year, while digital track sales fell 13 percent. At the same time, streaming music increased 42 percent.

In the U.S., iTunes currently is the market leader for digital music downloads, but Apple is not blind to the steady decline in these digital music sales. The company launched the Pandora-like iTunes Radio along with iOS 7 and recently purchased Beats Music for $3 billion.

Top Rated Comments

Santabean2000 Avatar
89 months ago
Stop. Just stop. You're digging the hole even deeper...
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Planey28 Avatar
89 months ago
BYE BYE beats muppetry

Hello U2 muppetry
How long until Apple buy U2? :p
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Whimseh Avatar
89 months ago
Can this whole ApplexU2 thing please end?
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeanL Avatar
89 months ago
Lossless files >

What about giving us the damn lossless files? --'
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
89 months ago
A new music format? Music is music surely?
It's all in the details. A print of the Mona Lisa is nothing like seeing the real thing. Music is like that too. A compressed AAC file is deader sounding than an uncompressed AIFF. But AIFF isn't practical when bandwidth and storage is limited. So a new format that is less compressed than AAC but still retains AAC's file size frugality would be a beautiful thing. Personally, I use ALAC right now, a little compressed and somewhat large files, but not as large as AIFF.

That said I don't know how that sells more music b/c the era of big home audio is dead and portables are not going to sound much better even w/ an improved format. The real problem w/ the music industry IMHO is lack of talent. There are a lot of one-song wonders and one decent cut albums out there now, and nothing really new sounding.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FlatBot Avatar
89 months ago
How long until Apple buy U2? :p

I think they already did.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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