Nick Mason: Apple get away with devaluing music

Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason says Apple have escaped the blame they deserve for devaluing music.

His comments come after the tech giant’s controversial launch of U2 album Songs Of Innocence, which was added to all iTunes users’ accounts whether they wanted it or not.

The band later apologised and Apple were forced to create a tool for removing the music from customers’ devices.

Now Mason tells GQ: “Let me be completely clear about my position – if Apple had come to me and said, ‘Nick, we want to release your album in exchange for £50m,’ I couldn’t have thought of a better idea.

“But this has backfired. It’s made everyone think again about how they want their music delivered, given or sold. This isn’t an anti-U2 tirade; but it highlights a vital aspect to the whole idea of music in the 21st century.”

He continues: “What’s also interesting is that Apple seem to have got off scot-free. No-one’s blaming them. Apple has done great things, but it has also contributed to the devaluation process.”

But Mason believes the corporation’s days could be numbered – he says: “iTunes is already beginning to look rather passe, and instead it’s Spotify that looks like the future. What we need is another two or three billion people using it, then it would make more sense for musicians.”

In the meantime, he fears that things continue to look bleak for future generations of artists. “Because of the internet and downloading, music has been devalued,” he argues. “Maybe it was over-valued previously, but it’s a become a real issue now. We’re missing out on a lot of great music simply because it’s become so damned hard to make a living out of it. Obviously not for us dinosaurs, but for new musicians.

“People say it’s not like the golden era, the 60s or whenever – but actually there are some great players and writers out there, and you’ll never hear of them.”

Pink Floyd released their final album The Endless River last year, breaking several sales records in the process.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.