At a live event last week, as well as introducing new versions of its iPhone, Apple chief executive Tim Cook announced that all 500m of iTunes customers would receive a free copy of the band’s new album, Songs of Innocence, five weeks ahead of its release in October.
Apple has now had to create an option for users who wish to remove the album from their library in the wake of a backlash.
The page contains a link to remove the album and the message: “If you would like U2’s Songs of Innocence removed from your iTunes music library and iTunes purchases, you can choose to have it removed. Once the album has been removed from your account, it will no longer be available for you to redownload as a previous purchase.
“If you later decide you want the album, you will need to get it again. The album is free to everyone until October 13, 2014 and will be available for purchase after that date.”
The release, which saw the album pushed to users’ iCloud accounts, left many feeling as though the album had been forced upon them by Apple. Thousands took to social media to express their unhappiness at the presence of the album on their devices and music library. Many were looking for ways to remove the album, with options not immediately obvious.
The introduction of the removal option comes as senior vice-president Eddy Cue announced that 33m iTunes users had so far accessed the album.
Cue called the number record-breaking, but did not elaborate. The figure includes customers who downloaded the album from their iCloud account, streamed it, or used the iTunes radio player to hear it.