Author Topic: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States  (Read 14710 times)

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Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #75 on: March 10, 2018, 01:03:44 PM »
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Also, not liking an album can't just be explained away by age, that's a biased argument. I think among U2 fans the reception has been across the board among all demographics.

And unless I missed something, why is nobody talking about how most earnings come from touring+merch, not record sales? U2 isn't a charity case, and I won't treat them as such, but apart from that - low profit, high visibility, highly accessible media (streaming, but also social media) is literally a business model. It's the way to promote your content and brand, it bridges the gap between casual/new listeners not willing to pay $10+, and it's a hybrid of radio and traditional media sales. Maybe it's a tougher hill to climb, but you can't attack the consumers when it's the market that has evolved.

The reception to the album among U2 fans has been mostly positive. There are exceptions of course, and you are apparently one of them. As for how age factors into it, age doesnít apply to the U2 fan demographic because if you are a U2 fan that means you like the rock genre, duh. But it applies to the general population because rock music isnít as popular among younger people.

What you are missing is the conversation in this thread is not about earnings, it is about record sales, radio play, etc. as measures of how well the new album is getting out to people. If it were about earnings then U2 is doing more than fine because, yeah, touring+merch.



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I should have included an actual quote for what I was responding to:

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Had vinyl night with an old buddy this past weekend. The new album was cut off after a couple songs. It just never held our attention. Afterwards, I realized This spoke volumes about the quality of this album. I really tried to like it but it just doesnít have the tunes. This is why many, even long time fans, have no idea a new album is out. Quality and promotion seem to have killed SOE before it ever began.


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The album is great. I have read though that some older people tend to have trouble listening or liking new music. As you get older, something in the brain prefers what is familiar and makes it more difficult to like new music. I'm not saying this is the case for you, but it is something to think about with the average U2 fans being between the ages of 41 to 55.

People need to give the album a chance. Play it like you did Achtung Baby or the Joshua Tree the first time. It certainly took more than a few listens before most completely fell in love with those albums. Its fun listening to old familiar toons, but the the new ones are great if you give them a chance.

It just comes off as apologetic for the album. I think any music listener knows more listens can change an opinion, but more listens can also sour an opinion, and it's not just old people that have issues with it. And naturally the ones on @U2 will be more likely to praise it.

I actually DO like the album, but with what I was referring to - you can explain it away as being the promotion, but the fact is that young people could not care less about something as boring and vanilla as SOE. They do not care. Other artists with much less exposure than two appearances in one Grammys show have shot into popularity 10 times as easy. People here are assuming that with perfect promotion, maybe slightly better songs, better lyrics, radio airplay doing them a favor, etc... that there would be a hit, but that's still not guaranteed.

"it is about record sales, radio play, etc. as measures of how well the new album is getting out to people."

I addressed this... when you pivot from a priority on record sales to a priority on streams, retweets, and visibility, you are expecting a drop in one and a boost in the other. But here, SOE is lackluster on both accounts, and if anything, doing better in the metric that we shouldn't be worried about as much (the topic of this thread). Like I said, if they don't use those platforms, they'll have to be content with simply not being able to capture the demographics that only use those, or just don't care about dad rock.

There is nothing more vanilla and bland than what gets played a lot on the radio today and the songs that make the top 10 and go to #1. All of the new album, "Songs Of Experience" is superior to this stuff which is why many believe that if people would give it a chance it would take off.

I know you don't like or love the album. But just because you rate the album lower than others does not mean that is why its not catching on with radio and the rest of the public. There is a lot of good music out there that does not make it into the mainstream. The reason it does not are more complex than ones simple opinion about whether it is good or not.

The metric of album sales until fairly recently was still the best metric for measuring the success of recorded music. Its only in the last 5 to 10 years that it has seriously declined. Despite this decline, I wouldn't say its an irrelevant metric yet, and the band is actually doing in ok to a degree with it still. Realize in this market its not really possible to sell a million copies of an album in the United States anymore with a few rare exceptions. Selling just 500,000 copies would be enough to give the band one of the top 10 selling albums of the year in the United States.

Offline HolyHandGrenade

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #76 on: March 10, 2018, 01:11:29 PM »
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There is nothing more vanilla and bland than what gets played a lot on the radio today and the songs that make the top 10 and go to #1. All of the new album, "Songs Of Experience" is superior to this stuff which is why many believe that if people would give it a chance it would take off.

I know you don't like or love the album. But just because you rate the album lower than others does not mean that is why its not catching on with radio and the rest of the public. There is a lot of good music out there that does not make it into the mainstream. The reason it does not are more complex than ones simple opinion about whether it is good or not.

The metric of album sales until fairly recently was still the best metric for measuring the success of recorded music. Its only in the last 5 to 10 years that it has seriously declined. Despite this decline, I wouldn't say its an irrelevant metric yet, and the band is actually doing in ok to a degree with it still. Realize in this market its not really possible to sell a million copies of an album in the United States anymore with a few rare exceptions. Selling just 500,000 copies would be enough to give the band one of the top 10 selling albums of the year in the United States.

I literally said I like the album. I just maybe have a better idea of what kind of generic pop people like now... it's not anything on SOE.

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #77 on: March 10, 2018, 04:43:51 PM »
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There is nothing more vanilla and bland than what gets played a lot on the radio today and the songs that make the top 10 and go to #1. All of the new album, "Songs Of Experience" is superior to this stuff which is why many believe that if people would give it a chance it would take off.

I know you don't like or love the album. But just because you rate the album lower than others does not mean that is why its not catching on with radio and the rest of the public. There is a lot of good music out there that does not make it into the mainstream. The reason it does not are more complex than ones simple opinion about whether it is good or not.

The metric of album sales until fairly recently was still the best metric for measuring the success of recorded music. Its only in the last 5 to 10 years that it has seriously declined. Despite this decline, I wouldn't say its an irrelevant metric yet, and the band is actually doing in ok to a degree with it still. Realize in this market its not really possible to sell a million copies of an album in the United States anymore with a few rare exceptions. Selling just 500,000 copies would be enough to give the band one of the top 10 selling albums of the year in the United States.

I literally said I like the album. I just maybe have a better idea of what kind of generic pop people like now... it's not anything on SOE.

Maybe, but you could say the same thing in a way about the Joshua Tree and 1987. The Joshua Tree sounded different from a lot of the other popular singles and albums of 1987.

Offline Luzita

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Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #78 on: March 10, 2018, 06:04:46 PM »
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I actually DO like the album...but the fact is that young people could not care less about something as boring and vanilla as SOE.

So you like boring and vanilla? Really?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 07:36:43 PM by Luzita »

Offline Luzita

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #79 on: March 10, 2018, 06:44:09 PM »
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People here are assuming that with perfect promotion, maybe slightly better songs, better lyrics, radio airplay doing them a favor, etc... that there would be a hit, but that's still not guaranteed.

No one in this thread said a word about better songs or better lyrics, and no one said that perfect promotion or more radio airplay would *guarantee* a hit.

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Like I said, if they don't use those platforms, they'll have to be content with simply not being able to capture the demographics that only use those, or just don't care about dad rock.

Here, you appear to be saying their lack of success in the streaming area is due to not using digital platforms effectively.

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I just maybe have a better idea of what kind of generic pop people like now... it's not anything on SOE.

Here, you appear to be saying that it's the music itself that guarantees it won't be popular in the streaming area.

The more you post, the more confused I become as to what you're trying to say and why you object to the conversation in this thread.

Offline summerholly

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #80 on: March 10, 2018, 07:52:04 PM »
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Maybe, but you could say the same thing in a way about the Joshua Tree and 1987. The Joshua Tree sounded different from a lot of the other popular singles and albums of 1987.

Yes but different in a spectacular way.  I was young back then and getting seriously tired of some of the music around at that stage.  U2 songs were like a breath of fresh air, you couldn't help but be captivated by their sound.  Edges guitar and Bonos vocals were like a beacon in the dark lol and they were all young and gorgeous which added to the appeal lol.  I find SOE although not a bad album seems to blend in with the the rest. 

Offline Luzita

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #81 on: March 10, 2018, 08:24:37 PM »
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Maybe, but you could say the same thing in a way about the Joshua Tree and 1987. The Joshua Tree sounded different from a lot of the other popular singles and albums of 1987.

Yes but different in a spectacular way.  I was young back then and getting seriously tired of some of the music around at that stage.  U2 songs were like a breath of fresh air, you couldn't help but be captivated by their sound.  Edges guitar and Bonos vocals were like a beacon in the dark lol and they were all young and gorgeous which added to the appeal lol.  I find SOE although not a bad album seems to blend in with the the rest.

To me the sound of SOE does stand out from most of what I hear on the radio, but not as much as U2ís sound stood out back in the 80s, thatís true.

Itís funny you mention their appeal when they were young and gorgeous. I think that may be part of the barrier to U2 winning young fans. Lots of people follow an artist not only because of their music but also because they identify with the musician (or think theyíre sexy). It must be harder for young people to do that when the musicians are old enough to be their parents or maybe even their grandparents.



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Offline summerholly

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #82 on: March 10, 2018, 08:58:01 PM »
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Maybe, but you could say the same thing in a way about the Joshua Tree and 1987. The Joshua Tree sounded different from a lot of the other popular singles and albums of 1987.

Yes but different in a spectacular way.  I was young back then and getting seriously tired of some of the music around at that stage.  U2 songs were like a breath of fresh air, you couldn't help but be captivated by their sound.  Edges guitar and Bonos vocals were like a beacon in the dark lol and they were all young and gorgeous which added to the appeal lol.  I find SOE although not a bad album seems to blend in with the the rest.

To me the sound of SOE does stand out from most of what I hear on the radio, but not as much as U2ís sound stood out back in the 80s, thatís true.

Itís funny you mention their appeal when they were young and gorgeous. I think that may be part of the barrier to U2 winning young fans. Lots of people follow an artist not only because of their music but also because they identify with the musician (or think theyíre sexy). It must be harder for young people to do that when the musicians are old enough to be their parents or maybe even their grandparents. 



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Yes that occurred to me, for young people the age and sex appeal is often quite a big factor.  At that age I could still identify with legendary groups who were 10- 20 years older than me but 30 years older or more probably not so much.  Although I did like Elvis at 30 years older!  But U2 are coming up to 60 and although they still look good to me to a young person they would be pretty old!  At 38-40 years older my young nieces think they are definitely in the dad category
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 09:16:24 PM by summerholly »

Offline Luzita

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #83 on: March 11, 2018, 09:46:35 PM »
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Maybe, but you could say the same thing in a way about the Joshua Tree and 1987. The Joshua Tree sounded different from a lot of the other popular singles and albums of 1987.

Yes but different in a spectacular way.  I was young back then and getting seriously tired of some of the music around at that stage.  U2 songs were like a breath of fresh air, you couldn't help but be captivated by their sound.  Edges guitar and Bonos vocals were like a beacon in the dark lol and they were all young and gorgeous which added to the appeal lol.  I find SOE although not a bad album seems to blend in with the the rest.

To me the sound of SOE does stand out from most of what I hear on the radio, but not as much as U2ís sound stood out back in the 80s, thatís true.

Itís funny you mention their appeal when they were young and gorgeous. I think that may be part of the barrier to U2 winning young fans. Lots of people follow an artist not only because of their music but also because they identify with the musician (or think theyíre sexy). It must be harder for young people to do that when the musicians are old enough to be their parents or maybe even their grandparents. 



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Yes that occurred to me, for young people the age and sex appeal is often quite a big factor.  At that age I could still identify with legendary groups who were 10- 20 years older than me but 30 years older or more probably not so much.  Although I did like Elvis at 30 years older!  But U2 are coming up to 60 and although they still look good to me to a young person they would be pretty old!  At 38-40 years older my young nieces think they are definitely in the dad category

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Bono as underground alt rock pin up, c. 1980.

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Bono as full-blown rock star pin up, c. 1987.

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Bono in the early 2000s. Still looking good. This was the last period when U2 was consistently at the top of the charts and pulling in new young fans in droves. They were already in their 40s. As wons mentioned, for a rock band of that age to still be at the top of the music scene was bucking the norm.

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Bono recently. I love the guy but he's definitely showing his age. I don't think he's causing any teenage girls to swoon.

Maybe their age creates distance between them and young audiences. And their music doesn't sound like the current stuff because they are of a different era. But it's good music. I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that the new album could break through more than it has so far.

Offline imedi

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #84 on: March 12, 2018, 03:06:36 AM »
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Maybe, but you could say the same thing in a way about the Joshua Tree and 1987. The Joshua Tree sounded different from a lot of the other popular singles and albums of 1987.

Yes but different in a spectacular way.  I was young back then and getting seriously tired of some of the music around at that stage.  U2 songs were like a breath of fresh air, you couldn't help but be captivated by their sound.  Edges guitar and Bonos vocals were like a beacon in the dark lol and they were all young and gorgeous which added to the appeal lol.  I find SOE although not a bad album seems to blend in with the the rest.

To me the sound of SOE does stand out from most of what I hear on the radio, but not as much as U2ís sound stood out back in the 80s, thatís true.

Itís funny you mention their appeal when they were young and gorgeous. I think that may be part of the barrier to U2 winning young fans. Lots of people follow an artist not only because of their music but also because they identify with the musician (or think theyíre sexy). It must be harder for young people to do that when the musicians are old enough to be their parents or maybe even their grandparents. 



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Yes that occurred to me, for young people the age and sex appeal is often quite a big factor.  At that age I could still identify with legendary groups who were 10- 20 years older than me but 30 years older or more probably not so much.  Although I did like Elvis at 30 years older!  But U2 are coming up to 60 and although they still look good to me to a young person they would be pretty old!  At 38-40 years older my young nieces think they are definitely in the dad category

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Bono as underground alt rock pin up, c. 1980.

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Bono as full-blown rock star pin up, c. 1987.

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Bono in the early 2000s. Still looking good. This was the last period when U2 was consistently at the top of the charts and pulling in new young fans in droves. They were already in their 40s. As wons mentioned, for a rock band of that age to still be at the top of the music scene was bucking the norm.

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Bono recently. I love the guy but he's definitely showing his age. I don't think he's causing any teenage girls to swoon.

Maybe their age creates distance between them and young audiences. And their music doesn't sound like the current stuff because they are of a different era. But it's good music. I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that the new album could break through more than it has so far.

time waits for nobody not even u2 :(

Offline summerholly

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #85 on: March 12, 2018, 05:54:39 AM »
Time waits for nobody indeed, not even the gorgeous Bono! The young girls who I know like my nieces and friends daughters are more into Bruno Mars than Bono. 

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #86 on: March 12, 2018, 08:48:34 AM »
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Time waits for nobody indeed, not even the gorgeous Bono! The young girls who I know like my nieces and friends daughters are more into Bruno Mars than Bono.

Well, Bruno is a quarter of a century younger than Bono. Yet, because many women love wealth and status, there are a lot of older men out there that are still in the game.

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #87 on: March 12, 2018, 08:50:18 AM »
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Maybe, but you could say the same thing in a way about the Joshua Tree and 1987. The Joshua Tree sounded different from a lot of the other popular singles and albums of 1987.

Yes but different in a spectacular way.  I was young back then and getting seriously tired of some of the music around at that stage.  U2 songs were like a breath of fresh air, you couldn't help but be captivated by their sound.  Edges guitar and Bonos vocals were like a beacon in the dark lol and they were all young and gorgeous which added to the appeal lol.  I find SOE although not a bad album seems to blend in with the the rest.

To me the sound of SOE does stand out from most of what I hear on the radio, but not as much as U2ís sound stood out back in the 80s, thatís true.

Itís funny you mention their appeal when they were young and gorgeous. I think that may be part of the barrier to U2 winning young fans. Lots of people follow an artist not only because of their music but also because they identify with the musician (or think theyíre sexy). It must be harder for young people to do that when the musicians are old enough to be their parents or maybe even their grandparents. 



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Yes that occurred to me, for young people the age and sex appeal is often quite a big factor.  At that age I could still identify with legendary groups who were 10- 20 years older than me but 30 years older or more probably not so much.  Although I did like Elvis at 30 years older!  But U2 are coming up to 60 and although they still look good to me to a young person they would be pretty old!  At 38-40 years older my young nieces think they are definitely in the dad category

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Bono as underground alt rock pin up, c. 1980.

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Bono as full-blown rock star pin up, c. 1987.

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Bono in the early 2000s. Still looking good. This was the last period when U2 was consistently at the top of the charts and pulling in new young fans in droves. They were already in their 40s. As wons mentioned, for a rock band of that age to still be at the top of the music scene was bucking the norm.

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Bono recently. I love the guy but he's definitely showing his age. I don't think he's causing any teenage girls to swoon.

Maybe their age creates distance between them and young audiences. And their music doesn't sound like the current stuff because they are of a different era. But it's good music. I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that the new album could break through more than it has so far.

I think Bono would look 10 years younger if he were clean shaven and got rid of the glasses.

Offline summerholly

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #88 on: March 12, 2018, 09:11:00 AM »
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Time waits for nobody indeed, not even the gorgeous Bono! The young girls who I know like my nieces and friends daughters are more into Bruno Mars than Bono.

Well, Bruno is a quarter of a century younger than Bono. Yet, because many women love wealth and status, there are a lot of older men out there that are still in the game.

Possibly but a stretch too far for the teenage and twenties girls that I know.  Bono is simply older than some of their dads!  I guess we were talking about the mainstream teenage and young woman population and what influences who they choose to listen to in their music and why and I suspect there are more fantasies going on around Bruno than Bono. 

At that age the furthest thing from my mind was some old dude no matter how rich and famous he was.  I was much more likely to fancy Bono or Jon Bon Jovi than Frank Sinatra and a lot of my girlfriends as teenagers had Bay City roller and Sean Cassidy posters in their rooms, definitely not old Frank!
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 09:49:30 AM by summerholly »

Offline summerholly

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #89 on: March 12, 2018, 09:20:04 AM »
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I think Bono would look 10 years younger if he were clean shaven and got rid of the glasses.

Maybe, maybe not, but really why would he care. If he needs to wear the glasses he is only damaging his health by not wearing them and not sure it would make any difference to picking up the teenage and young demographic.  Having parents into U2 might be a greater influence