The Bono headline making the rounds today, probably somewhere on your screen next to the one about the young woman looking guilty on live TV during the Ohio State-Alabama football game, concerns how his bicycle injury might leave the U2 frontman unable to play guitar again. Bono has never been known for his six-string work, though — more famously, during a previous injury, he handed his axe to surprise guest Bruce Springsteen during a 1987 concert — so what’s most noteworthy for the long term in his 6,000-word, A-to-Z year in review might be his take on music-streaming giant Spotify. In short: He likes it.
“The reason I respect for-fee services like Spotify is that they are slowly turning people who are used to getting their music for-FREE, into paying ten dollars a month for a subscription model,” Bono writes, as Hypebot points out. “These payments don’t add up to replacement for income from physical or digital sales at the moment — but I think they can if everyone sits down — record companies, artists and digital services — to figure out a fairer way of doing business.” He adds, “U2 can survive without these changes but we can’t live with ourselves if other artists cannot.”
Bono’s take on the streaming business is of particular import because of U2′s unique release strategy last year, when they distributed new album Songs of Innocence for free, without any active opt-in, to iTunes users. In September, Time reported that Bono and Apple were planning an ambitious new digital music format, though Billboard later clarified that this didn’t mean a new file format, such as the lossless file type used by Neil Young’s Pono players. Debate over streaming has intensified in recent months, after Taylor Swift’s decision to pull all of her music from Spotify.
As for U2, the band is seen as a likely Grammys 2015 performer, and there’s a 2015 world tour on the way. Read Bono’s full year-end post, in which he also calls his bicycling injury “very punk rock,” here, and listen to “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” below if you don’t already have it on your phone.