Millions of people have downloaded a free copy of U2's Songs of Innocence album, yet, there are still dedicated fans that are buying the set, following its commercial release on Oct. 14.
Industry forecasters suggest the album might sell around 25,000 copies in the U.S., in the week ending Oct. 19. The effort was released through Interscope Records, following five weeks of exclusive availability as a free download through Apple’s iTunes Store. The set bowed through Apple on Sept. 9.
One could consider the ability to sell 25,000 copies an achievement, considering how many millions have already consumed the set. On Oct. 9, Apple said that 26 million customers, globally, had downloaded the entire album. And, a total of 81 million Apple users had listened to some portion of the set through iTunes, iTunes Radio and Beats Music. (Presumably, a significant chunk of those figures originated in the U.S. However, U.S.-only consumption figures are not available from Apple or Interscope.)
That 25,000-unit figure is lower than the album's forecast a week ago. On Oct. 9, based on pre-orders alone, sources projected that Songs of Innocence might move 70,000 in its first week of commercial availability.
A start of 25,000 sold could enable Songs of Innocence to debut in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart next week, granting the band its 11th top 10. (The album was previously barred from charting, as free sets are not eligible for inclusion on Billboard's sales charts and don't count towards sales tracked by Nielsen SoundScan, which supplies data for Billboard's sales-driven rankings.)
The group’s last studio effort, 2009's traditionally-released No Line on the Horizon, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 484,000 in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Rock radio is supporting Songs of Innocence: lead single "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" pushes 5-3 on Adult Alternative Songs and 36-31 on Alternative Songs.