Sharon Osbourne to U2: ‘You give your mediocre music away because no one wants to buy it’

Manager and TV personality also brands U2 'middle-aged political groupies'

Sharon Osbourne has hit out at U2 for allowing Apple to give away their new album to its customers.

‘Songs Of Innocence’ was announced and immediately released at Apple’s iPhone 6 launch event last week (September 9), and free digital copies were delivered to 500 million iTunes users.

Music manager and TV personality Osbourne took to Twitter to tell the band what she thought of their campaign.

Osbourne wrote: “U2 you are business moguls not musicians anymore. No wonder you have to give your mediocre music away for free cause no one wants to buy it.”

“Guys nothing is for free, how much you making? PS, btw you are just a bunch of middle age political groupies….”

“Whose political ass are we going to pull you out of today? Or are you front row at another tragic fashion show?…”

“Jimmy Iovine, iTunes, U2, you’re a bunch of megalomaniacs. FUCK YOU!”

Other critics of the stunt include the Entertainment Retailers Association, which said the giveaway was ‘as damaging as piracy’ and devalues music. ERA Chairman Paul Quirk said: “This promotion is a failure on so many levels. It devalues music, it alienates the majority of people who don’t use iTunes and it disappoints those who prefer to shop in physical stores since few shops had U2 stock available. Giving away music like this is as damaging to the value of music as piracy, and those who will suffer most are the artists of tomorrow. U2 have had their career, but if one of the biggest rock bands in the world are prepared to give away their new album for free, how can we really expect the public to spend £10 on an album by a newcomer?”

‘Songs Of Innocence’ won’t feature in the UK Albums Chart until its official October 13 release. The Official Charts Company told NME that the album is not yet eligible as customers will not have made an “active choice” to download it. Apple this week released a tool to allow its customers to ‘Songs Of Innocence’ from their devices with just one click, following complaints.

Bono said that Apple had bought the album as a “gift to give to all their music customers”. Reports have suggested that the advertising and marketing provided by the tech firm could amount to $100 million (£62 million).