Bono (C) of Irish rock band U2 gestures to the audience after performing at an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
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Since U2 stunned the music world by delivering a surprise album at Apple's iPhone 6 unveiling and making it available to a half-billion iTunes users for free, they've gotten an avalanche of publicity.Apple says that's a record, but for U2's manager, Guy Oseary, the numbers weren't really the point: The album will live on in users' iCloud, and the band envisions new listeners accessing it for the first time for years to come.So what is U2 trying to achieve with its latest Apple alliance?U2 joined Jay Z, Beyonce and a growing number of artists who are working out exclusive corporate deals and employing guerrilla ad campaigns rather than moving the album through the typical marketing plan of singles release and slow build to launch date.Like Jay Z and his Samsung partnership to launch "Magna Carta ... Holy Grail" last year, U2 and Interscope Records get handsomely paid -- something that's no longer guaranteed from album sales alone -- and the money comes on up front.
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