Apple Spent at Least $100 Million on That Free U2 Album

CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Apple CEO Tim Cook (L) greets the crowd with U2 singer Bono (2nd R) as The Edge (2nd L) and Larry Mullen Jr look on during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled the Apple Watch wearable tech and two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As the NSA will tell you, it costs a lot of money to do creepy and invasive things to people’s computers. In the case of Songs of Innocence, the free U2 album that Apple placed in everyone’s iTunes accounts, that price tag was upwards of $100 million — which is reportedly how much Apple spent to market the album so that people would actually listen to it. (Apple also paid U2 an undisclosed fee. “We’re not going in for the free music around here,” Bono said at Tuesday’s launch event.)

Apple, of course, has $160 billion in cash reserves, which means that if it really wanted to, the company could put out a free U2 album a week for the next 30 years.

Apple Spent $100 Million on That Free U2 Album