33 million users ‘accessed’ U2’s new album ‘Songs of Innocence’

Whether it was streamed on iTunes Radio, or downloaded or streamed via the iCloud, 33 million users got a spin of at least some of U2's new album “Songs of Innocence” last week, according to a release from Apple.

Senior Vice President Eddy Cue said in a press release that iTunes account holders headed into the app via desktop or mobile in droves, after the company released the album for free to 500 million (that's right, half a billion) iTunes users. The announcement of the drop came during the launch event for the iPhone 6 and the new Apple Watch last week.

“Songs of Innocence” has a retail release on Oct. 14. Brick-and-mortar stores, digitial retailers, and online shops have been promised a variety of bonus material (extra songs, acoustic versions, etc.) that will also have a 5-week exclusive window.

Interestingly, the Irish rockers' back catalog has seen a big bump in sales, at least on the iTunes charts, updated daily: the “U218” singles album went top 10 in 46 countries last week, for instance. “Joshua Tree,” “Achtung Baby,” “War” and more have also experienced big upticks. 

According to the New York Times, U2 made about $100 million to give Apple their album to give away for free via iTunes, as a blanket royalty fee. But, if you don't want “Songs of Innocence” on your device? Apple's made a way to get rid of it.

To remove this album:

    Go to http://itunes.com/soi-remove.
    Click Remove Album to confirm you'd like to remove the album from your account.
    Sign in with the Apple ID and password you use to buy from the iTunes Store.
    You'll see a confirmation message that the album has been removed from your account.

If you downloaded the songs to iTunes on your Mac or PC or to the Music app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you'll need to delete them manually.