Author Topic: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?  (Read 1575 times)

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Offline summerholly

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2017, 05:55:38 PM »
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Honestly if I lived in NZ or Australia and 1) U2 didn't come to my country the last 2 tours and 2) U2 was open about this album being delayed because of political events in other countries I'd probably lose interest too.

Yes that happens, I live in Australia and had sort of forgotten about them until I eventually found SOI on my itunes catalogue on my computer and googled it, then had some time to revisit their music.  They certainly don't get any airtime on my local radio station.  I saw them interviewed recently on TV and they indicated they would like to come but it is a long way.  The last time I saw Bono before that was on a Michael Hutchence documentary and it never crossed my mind that they were making new music and still touring.  A shame because we have had Pink, Adele and Paul McCartney among others, and the Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran are coming.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 06:05:23 PM by summerholly »

Offline wons

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2017, 11:34:26 AM »
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I notice some surprise that U2 are 5th on the UK/ Australian charts? Etc.

I wonder why this is in anyway an issue or surprise? On virtually every metric I can generally see, U2s numbers are not strong enough to compete with likes of Ed Sheeran/ Pink etc.

U2 do not have anywhere near as big social numbers on Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter. Never have. When U2 post a video to YouTube it never gets anywhere near the astronomical numbers those other artists reach. The same as far as I can see with Spotify streams etc.

When U2 perform on these Late Night shows etc, has anyone noticed how U2s performances do not bring huge numbers comparatively. Look at the BBC clip from the other day with All I Want Is You. Its hardly exploding in viewership numbers.

This is not a critique of U2.... but U2 simply are not a pop sensation anymore. And to be honest have failed to fully embrace social media. Although I have noticed an uptick of late. And stunts such as playing in the Berlin U2 line and on the street in NY are good. Although killer performances of new songs would have helped in both cases.

So yeah, not having chart success. Its not a big deal. And should not be expected.

I know someone is going to say - "it is a big deal to them. they want that success" Maybe they do. But I think you will find its not as big a deal as it used to be for them. They are still easily selling concert tickets, which is the only thing that matters in todays music landscape.

Finally, I know charts are now made up with all manner of combined metrics. If thats the case lets look at me for example of a U2 consumer. I consider myself a huge fan by any general persons standards. My friends think I'm a bore on the subject of U2. That said, I have not bought the new album. I just don't like having stuff as I used to. So I really don't know what I'd do with a physical copy. + I am no longer interested in owning tat such as...eh... a Songs of Experience newspaper. So I have streamed the album mostly via Apple Music which I have a subscription to. I love the album. But I don't feel the need to listen to it on loop. I've heard it fully about 6 times. (That said the album is long. Its hard to get to the end of. So there have been plenty of starts.) And regarding consumption of music videos, which I have heard is important in someway. The New York one is a terrible video to the most average song on the album (which I feel badly lets down the album) and so that doesn't merit re-watching. The American Soul lyric vid is a better vid. But again that tune is questionable. The Blackout video is not so bad, and the tune is much better. But still, I have watched... what... 10 times maybe.

So if I cannot contribute much to U2s numbers as a super-fan (and I am sure there are plenty like me)... how is it reasonable to expect U2 to chart higher?

Album sales, both physical and digital, are now becoming an old metric for gauging a bands popularity. 60% of people in the United States now stream all their music. They don't buy anything. The purchase of digital tracks accounts for another 20%. Digital albums about 10% and then physical albums about 10%. Streaming and Social Media have changed what is popular in the modern world over the past 10 years. Its been severely damaging to the music industry, to artist devotion, and especially to the album as the centerpiece of what is important when it comes to recorded music. U2 is an album band and an artist that can sound good over 10 or 12 songs is in my opinion superior to the singles artist who only sounds good on a couple of tunes. But the mass public does not care and does not understand how their opinions and preferences are subtly being changed without them knowing based on technology. They don't realize that streaming and social media has actually changed their behavior as well as what they like and enjoy and think about.

      This shift in technology and the change in what the public prefers regarding music plus the bands advancing age are a double wammy for the band. This may be the end of mass popularity for NEW U2 music and from here on out the band will depend on their hardcore followers for whatever album sales and ticket sales they get. But they had a 20 to 30 year run has the worlds most popular band. Plus they are still very popular when it comes to selling concert tickets. They still have a long career ahead of them and although their new albums may not reach the heights of popularity that they did before, they can still produce amazing, interesting, quality albums as good as anything they have done before!

Offline Larry Mullen Seniors Son

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2017, 05:15:30 PM »
Even the Stones after Start Me Up/Tattoo You fizzled out a bit. They've remained a mammoth touring draw and are regarded as legends in every sense, but when I look at their history, that was the point where it seemed the fans stopped launching them to #1 in all the charts.

I think U2 used up all of their magic in that sense with Vertigo/Atomic Bomb. Blame it on singles, iTunes, iPods, political stances, going on Oprah too many times, etc. I think they became completely over-saturated around 2005/2006. The 360 tour was a behemoth, but it was a 20th anniversary celebration of Achtung Baby by the end of it. I think their output has remained very solid in quality, but it's hard to sell the public on returning to the well over and over.

Entertainment has never been this fragmented. I don't think we'll see another U2, Elvis, The Stones or Springsteen as far as capturing all the world's attention all at once. A gold record (500,000 units) is a huge accomplishment in 2017 and they're becoming more and more rare in rock music.

Another problem is that every dollar I spend on U2 is a dollar I can't spend on an up and coming band or a band in their "prime." Bands like U2, GNR, The Stones, Springsteen, etc suck up so much oxygen in the concert world. I didn't get to see Coldplay or Arcade Fire this year because the JT30 consumed a lot of vacation days and dollars. Not that the Joshua Tree shows left a bad taste in my mouth, but I don't have E+I tickets yet because The Killers, Foo Fighters, QOTSA and Royal Blood are a bigger concert priority at the moment. And I have tickets for all of them for about what I would get one E+I show for.

Offline wons

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2017, 07:26:29 PM »
I'd like to see the Killers and the Foo Fighters but when it comes to choices, U2 wins out every time. But U2 does not tour every year so thats when opportunities open up to see other artist I like. Although, we have now been blessed with U2 tours in the states in 2015, 2017, 2018, and there are rumors of 2nd leg of the new tour for 2019 in the states playing places they missed on the 2018 schedule. Its amazing that we could have U2 hitting the road in the United States every year of the last half of this decade with the exception of 2016. They haven't toured the United States like that since the 1980s.

Offline Luzita

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Re: Whats the big deal about U2s chart positioning?
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2017, 10:37:00 PM »
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Album sales, both physical and digital, are now becoming an old metric for gauging a bands popularity. 60% of people in the United States now stream all their music. They don't buy anything. The purchase of digital tracks accounts for another 20%. Digital albums about 10% and then physical albums about 10%. Streaming and Social Media have changed what is popular in the modern world over the past 10 years. Its been severely damaging to the music industry, to artist devotion, and especially to the album as the centerpiece of what is important when it comes to recorded music. U2 is an album band and an artist that can sound good over 10 or 12 songs is in my opinion superior to the singles artist who only sounds good on a couple of tunes. But the mass public does not care and does not understand how their opinions and preferences are subtly being changed without them knowing based on technology. They don't realize that streaming and social media has actually changed their behavior as well as what they like and enjoy and think about.

      This shift in technology and the change in what the public prefers regarding music plus the bands advancing age are a double wammy for the band. This may be the end of mass popularity for NEW U2 music and from here on out the band will depend on their hardcore followers for whatever album sales and ticket sales they get. But they had a 20 to 30 year run has the worlds most popular band. Plus they are still very popular when it comes to selling concert tickets. They still have a long career ahead of them and although their new albums may not reach the heights of popularity that they did before, they can still produce amazing, interesting, quality albums as good as anything they have done before!

Interesting analysis. Hadn't thought before of how the shift to streaming isn't just changing how music is delivered, it's changing which artists are valued.