Sheeran concern over music for free

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Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Chart-topping star Ed Sheeran says music fans have little regard for songs they have been given for free.

His comments follow the release of U2’s latest album Songs Of Innocence, which was initially given away to half a billion iTunes customers – the biggest stunt of its type.

Sheeran, speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, said he was among those who had not bothered to listen to the Irish band’s release because there seemed no “urgency” when it turned up unrequested.

U2 made the surprise announcement that their album was a gift to iTunes customers during the launch of the new iPhone models last month. Users found they had been given the album whether they wanted it or not and the firm had to quickly roll out a shortcut to remove it from gadgets for those who were unhappy about it.

In an interview with Today presenter Sarah Montague, Sheeran said: “I think you should offer things out for free when it feels right but if you don’t put value on your music, no one else is.

“For instance, the new U2 album, I still haven’t heard. I know it’s there but there just wasn’t any urgency for me to grab it. With music, I think people will appreciate it more once they’ve bought it because they paid for it.”

Sheeran pointed out that prior to landing a deal he had been encouraged in discussions with major labels to give away his music to drum up interest.

His comments come after punk pioneer Iggy Pop criticised the U2 giveaway during a keynote speech as he delivered the John Peel Lecture for the BBC. Pop said the Apple tie-up had “robbed” music fans of the right to choose whether they wanted the album or not.

U2’s album was finally given a commercial release this week and is expected to be one of the highest chart entries when midweek positions are released later today, showing some fans were willing to pay for a copy, over and above the free digital version they had been given.

Published: Wednesday 15th October 2014 by The News Editor

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