U2 are experiencing the pains of being ahead of the curve.
After the release yesterday (Sept. 9) of a new album, Songs of Innocence, for free via iTunes and during the worldwide event at when the iPhone 6, iWatch and a new Apple Pay system were revealed, they are now facing some consequences from the business side of the music industry.
Billboard reports that their new album will not be eligible for consideration for the 57th GRAMMY Awards. The Recording Academy only considers albums released before Sept. 30, 2014, for that particular year, and due to the freely available nature of this album ahead of its commercial release date of Oct. 14 will not be considering it. The Academy feels it does meet the qualifications for consideration in the 58th ceremony, however.
“All entries — singles, tracks, albums — must be commercially released, nationally distributed and available from any date within the eligibility period,” a representative for the GRAMMYs told Billboard. The trick there is the phrase “commercially released” — giving it away for free with a future commercial release date apparently doesn’t count for the GRAMMYs.
Additionally Billboard revealed that, much like Jay Z’s Magna Carta giveaway with Samsung, U2’s free album will not count toward the Billboard 200 albums chart until October. (WTF???) It will only track copies of Songs of Innocence that are sold and it will not be tracked by that chart until its commercial release.
The RIAA have not yet made a statement on if they will certify the U2 album with gold or platinum status that includes the free downloads of this album. It is a decision they are unlikely to weigh in on until the band reaches that mark.
Songs of Innocence is available to any new or existing iTunes customer and all Beats subscribers for free from now until Oct. 14.