81 Million People Have Heard U2's New 'Songs of Innocence'

Photo by Lloyd Bishop

Oh, sure, the music blogosphere loved telling us how so many people loathed the free U2 album Apple dropped in their iTunes account last month free of charge. But it appears tens of millions of users actually gave the record a listen—at least some of it.

According to Apple exec Eddy Cue, 81 million of iTunes' 500 million customers have "experienced" Songs of Innocence in some form, whether streaming a song on iTunes Radio or Beats Music or downloading it on iTunes.

Since the Sept. 9 digital release, Songs has been downloaded in full an impressive 26 million times.

As Cue points out, "14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003."

A deluxe edition of U2's album, featuring 10 additional tracks, is due Oct. 14.