Iggy Pop says U2's latest album, 'Songs of Innocence', is a ''veiled advert''.

The Stooges vocalist says that although the album was made available to Apple's iTunes customers free of charge, it would be inaccurate to describe the contentious new album - which has stoked plenty of controversy in the music industry - as free.

Iggy, 67, explained to The Sunday Times newspaper: ''I'm not defending or condemning what they did. And I don't know... to me I wouldn't call it free music. Because somebody probably paid them to do all that.''

He continued: ''But it's also not free because it's only if you own that [iTunes-featuring] device. So what I would call it is kind of a... veiled advert. A veiled advert would be my impression of it.''

Iggy turned his attention to the music industry more broadly, saying that record executives and others tend to benefit more than the artists themselves.

He said: ''I don't think that the glorification of the music business is always really truly good for the artist. It's been good for... wouldn't you say it's been good for Simon Cowell?

''Well, how much do you think he's doing for the artists? Do you see what I'm saying?''