I feel the prerelease giveaway of the new U2 record is actually a cultural phenomenon of immense significance and portends a new era for art and artists. The significance of this action is not simply about the flow of commerce and finding a new way to broaden this artist’s market, it also speaks directly to the current perceived valuelessness of music (and how this perception is not only the attitude of the consumer, but now, also that of the artists. In a way, U2 evince a sort of desperation through this action, perhaps to find any possible means for maintaining their music as a viable, living entity, instead of as part of a dying form). It may be interesting to consider this from another angle – U2 may have given their record away to half a billion Apple subscribers – but they have also forced it on them.
– Michael Beinhorn.