What U2’s Apple Deal Means For The Music Industry

By now you’ve probably heard that Apple is giving away U2’s new album away for free via iTunes. But U2 is obviously no charity; Apple is licensingthe Irish band’s new music, for an estimated $100 million,  as a “free gift” to the iTunes customers, along with the right to use the lead single off the album in its upcoming global ad campaign. Apple gets an extra selling point and a promotional tool; U2 gets enormous exposure through mass sampling and “the world’s largest album launch;” iTunes users get free music. Apple’s move heralds a paradigm shift in the music industry, where merchandise and tour ticket sales replacing music sales as the main revenue channel.