This article is from the archive of our partner .

U2 isn't done infiltrating working with your iTunes library.

After teaming up with Apple during the company's Sept. 9 unveiling of new products and releasing Songs of Innocence to plenty of raised eyebrows, the band revealed to Time they're working on another secret project with Apple. The goal: Find a new method to compensate artists and promote digital music sales.

Bono & Co. revealed few details, but told Time the band wanted to help lesser-known artists. From Time:

Bono tells TIME he hopes that a new digital music format in the works will prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music—whole albums as well as individual tracks. The point isn't just to help U2 but less well known artists and others in the industry who can't make money, as U2 does, from live performance. "Songwriters aren't touring people," says Bono. "Cole Porter wouldn't have sold T-shirts. Cole Porter wasn't coming to a stadium near you."

Is this secret collaboration a good thing? The release of Songs of Innocence was certainly controversial (and even prompted Apple to post a guide to removing the album), but by Thursday, Apple said 38 million people had downloaded or streamed the album. The number both eclipses the barbed tweets fired off against the band and deems the effort a success.

The project is in line with Apple's acquisition of headphone maker Beats earlier this year (the company likely pursued Beats for its music streaming service), and with what U2's manager Guy Oseary told Billboard last week:

We're working on other things as well with Apple that have to do with how music is heard and innovation, with [iTunes VP of content] Robert Kondrk leading that charge. There's a lot of things still to come that are really interesting. The band really wants people to engage with albums, they want them to support the art form of artwork and lyrics and video content and just get into their music in a much different way than an MP3 file. This is a long relationship."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.