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U2 moves away from Apple, partners with RIM

updated 05:05 pm EDT, Mon March 9, 2009

U2 partners with RIM

U2 appears to have taken a step away from its relationship with Apple, as the band has chosen Research In Motion to sponsor the upcoming U2 360 Degrees tour. Apple in 2004 joined with U2 and Universal Music Group (UMG) to "create innovative products together for the new digital music era." Bono and The Edge stood with Steve Jobs to announce the new generation of iPods, including an iPod U2 Special Edition that included custom engravings of the band members' signatures.

"We want our audience to have a more intimate online relationship with the band, and Apple can help us do that," said U2 lead singer Bono at the time. Many companies in the music industry have become displeased with the Apple, however, arguing that company's strict pricing guidelines for iTunes tracks has cut into profits from album sales.

UMG's chief Doug Morris late in 2007 claimed his company had been ensnared by the "golden handcuffs" of Apple's music portal. The executive explained that Universal became dependent on iTunes after insisting on copy protection and then allowing Apple to use its own proprietary format.

"There's no one in the record company that's a technologist," he said. "They just didn't know what to do... We were just grateful that someone was selling online. The problem is, [Apple chief Steve Jobs] became a gatekeeper... We would hate to give up that income."

Aside from the BlacBerry sponsorship, Bono is also a partner in the firm Elevation Partners which holds a 39 percent ownership stake in Palm. Interestingly enough, the U2 360 Degrees tour likely will start around the same time that Palm will release the Pre.

"This tour announcement marks the first stage of a relationship and shared vision between RIM and U2 that we expect will lead to new and innovative ways to enhance the mobile music experience on the BlackBerry platform for U2 fans. We look forward to sharing more details as the relationship unfolds," said Paul McGuinness, the band's manager. [via CNBC]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. pmbuko

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +3

    hint on their new album

    Regarding their relationship with Apple:

    Force Quit and Move to Trash.

  1. rytc

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2001

    +2

    Blakberry

    In reality Blackberries are not really competing with iPods or Apple in the music arena.

  1. jmelrose

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Mar 1999

    +7

    Or..

    Or, perhaps the headline should be:

    "Apple turns down option to pay for most expensive tour on the road for summer 2009, opts to focus spending on technology & keeping employees onboard."

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +2

    Album sales hurt execs

    Artists' percentage of album/song sales has historically been small, from records to CDs to digital. This aspect of the music business has never been where artists get the bulk of their income. It's shows, concerts, promotions, merchandise, etc.

    Sure, they get royalties over the life of the music, but again, that has always amounted to a small percentage of the gross sale of music.

    No, to be sure, it is the music moguls who are most affected by the rise and fall of music sales.

    /

  1. bloodline

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2006

    -2

    U2 suck

    Yeah U2 can go jump!! Let's get Depeche Mode to promote the iPhone :-D

  1. macnixer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2006

    +1

    is this really news?

    I think not. When U2 and Apple endorsed each other, it did not make any difference to me. I love Apple products and I enjoy U2 music. For me they are individual entities and shall so remain. It does not matter who Bono represents. I do see that Bono would go with BB compared to iPhone because he is a partner in a firm that holds 39% of BB. That's sound business. There is no music or bitter Apple issue here.

    BTW, the spelling of BlackBerry is wrong in the article.

  1. thibaulthalpern

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    +2

    proprietary?

    Apple doesn't use a Proprietary method of music format! It uses the AAC format which is an industry standard. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdvancedAudioCoding

    For some reason, idiotic technology writers still like to associate Apple with proprietary formats when that is not the case any more.

  1. thibaulthalpern

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    -1

    proprietary?

    Apple doesn't use a Proprietary method of music format! It uses the AAC format which is an industry standard. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdvancedAudioCoding

    For some reason, idiotic technology writers still like to associate Apple with proprietary formats when that is not the case any more.

  1. bigpoppa206

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003

    +1

    actually,

    who says U2 is moving away from Apple? They are searching for funding sources for their tour, that's all. It's not like we should expect to see Bono in a Blackberry commercial any time soon.

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