Patrick Carney of The Black Keys says U2 album giveaway ‘devalued their music completely’

Drummer also explains why his band's albums are not on Spotify or any other streaming services

Patrick Carney of The Black Keys has criticised U2’s method of giving their latest album away for free to iTunes users, saying the tactic “devalued their music completely.”

Carney was asked about the way in which U2 distributed the ‘Songs of Innocence’ album to fans in an interview with The Seattle Times. The drummer became the latest figure to criticise the move, following in the footsteps of Iggy Pop and Sharon Osbourne.

“[It] sends a huge mixed message to bands… that are just struggling to get by. I think that they were thinking it’s super generous of them to do something like that,” Carney added.

The Black Keys member was also quizzed on the stance of his band against streaming their music online. The duo are against the idea and have not placed either of their last two albums on any streaming services. “My whole thing about music is: if somebody’s making money then the artist should be getting a fair cut of it,” Carney said. “The owner of Spotify is worth something like three billion dollars…he’s richer than Paul McCartney and he’s 30 and he’s never written a song.”

Earlier this week, Bono apologised for U2’s album giveaway, admitting to a “drop of megalomania”.

U2 and Apple ‘gifted’ 500 million iTunes users with their new album without consent in September. The move sparked widespread controversy. Following complaints over the unconventional release of ‘Songs Of Innocence’, Apple released a tool to allow its customers to remove ‘Songs Of Innocence’ from their devices with just one click.

Last week it was reported that just five per cent of iTunes subscribers – 26 million people – downloaded the album Apple placed on their customers’ devices on September 9. Although the figure is a small percentage of iTunes’ 500 million customers, it would still make ‘Songs Of Innocence’ rank in the Top 40 best-selling albums of all-time, in joint 32nd place alongside Britney Spears‘ 1999 album ‘…Baby One More Time’. The best-selling album ever is Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, which has sold an estimated 60 million copies since its release in 1982.
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