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91
General U2 Discussion / Re: The Joshua Tree is over-rated
« Last post by shineinthesummernight on July 16, 2018, 08:11:09 PM »
WOWY one of their weakest tunes?  Yeah, that's pretty out there.
92
General U2 Discussion / Re: The Joshua Tree is over-rated
« Last post by davis on July 16, 2018, 06:48:34 PM »
Quote
While Iím fully aware that opinions canít be wrong

Of course opinions can be wrong.  Including (in my opinion) the one that started this thread.  An opinion is just a belief, and it is entirely possible to believe something that isn't true. 

If the OP had said, "I don't like the Joshua Tree as much as most people do," then there'd be no problem. 
93
General U2 Discussion / Re: The Joshua Tree is over-rated
« Last post by ShankAsu on July 16, 2018, 05:36:57 PM »
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I think WOWY was one of their weakest singles followed by ISHFWILF which was just as weak.  That's not to say they were terrible songs, but to me, the other songs were much better.  Streets is still a great song, BTBS, IGC and Exit are phenomenal songs.  While I prefer the ZooTV version of RTSS, it's original version is still powerful.

The B-Sides were perhaps their best.
i think the majority of fans would highly disagree with you on this, but to each their own.
94
Fun and Games / Re: A-Z U2 songs
« Last post by kevtn43 on July 16, 2018, 04:28:17 PM »
Fez-being born
95
General Music Discussion / Re: Artists you used to hate and now love or respect?
« Last post by 03/9/81 on July 16, 2018, 11:56:17 AM »
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I somewhat warmed up to Bon Jovi, if only select tracks by the band. I got both Ritchie and Jon's solo albums from the late 90s. And then, that situation happened when I felt somebody was playing a joke on me and my group of friends and "Have A Nice Day" came on the radio.

Sorry, no offense to them, or any of the fans, I just don't get it. I never have understood the whole big deal about them. Just, NO!
96
General Music Discussion / Re: Old acts that "kids these days" like
« Last post by laoghaire on July 16, 2018, 11:30:12 AM »
Dark Side of the Moon is so timeless. I can't think of anything else from that era that doesn't make me think, ah, the 70s. A masterpiece.
97
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U2 have clearly communicated that their experimentation time was a detour, not the driving point of their career path. I highly suspect they keep doing it, probably better than what they did in the '90s. They just aren't as into it.

This rings true to me. I sort of consider the 90s albums as their mid-life or mid-career crisis.

However, I wonder what type of experimentation might come out of their retirement as a touring band (whenever that happens).

Could we see more Passengers-type tracks? Something more jazzy along the lines of Two Shots of Happy, Never Let Me Go, and Dancing Shoes? Something else entirely?
98
General U2 Discussion / Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Last post by Tortuga on July 16, 2018, 08:51:23 AM »
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At this point, I think the album will make the 350,000 copies sold mark in the United States, which is the combined total of digital and physical albums sold. That could change of course if a single takes off, the band tour into 2019, or the album is nominated for grammy awards and wins several of them. 350,000 in sales for the United States is only 25% of what POP did back in 1997. Since Pop was really only purchased by the "die-hards", one wonders why so much of the hardcore fanbase ignored this album completely. The streaming totals and individual track down loads for the album and its songs are small, probably only 50,000 in equivalent album sales. Back during POP/Popmart, the numbers suggested that everyone who purchased a ticket for the show also had purchased the album. The numbers for Songs Of Experience suggest that less than half of people buying tickets to this tour purchased the album in some format or even listened to it. Again, this is just for the United States. The situation in other countries could be very different.

The implication here is that while normally you would think the battle for U2, on the business side of things, would be how to get casual fans and the general public to buy the album or listen to it, the fight is now centered, or should be, on getting their most dedicated fans interested in the new material.

Well you know my take on it is: the album is poor, hence the low sales-as is the tour , hence the lack of any noticeable pick up in sales as the album is toured. But what do you think?  One thing that crossed my mind was by way of the perceived Trump-bashing at Iheart etc, they have alienated a sizeable percentage of their US audience? Any thoughts?

Alternatively, i stumbled across a thread with no replies on the forum somewhere-- ''do you think YTBTAM was a radio success". Personally i think it's up there with the worst they've ever committed to tape so I will say 'obviously ,no, it was a failure"- because it's rotten lol ( IMHO!!!!) . I don't mind GOOYOW at all--it's catchy and more radio friendly. So perhaps they screwed up with the marketing.

How to get their most dedicated fans interested in their new material is simple-- make better albums with better songs and better production ( one producer preferably).

I think I should state again that, yes, these album sales are low compared to an album like POP in 1997 which was consider a low seller at the time by U2's standards. But the 320,000 copies Songs Of Experience has sold so far in the United States is actually pretty good relative to other albums released in December of 2017 and especially albums released so far in 2018.

For example, when looking at albums released in 2018, the following are the 10 best sellers as of today:

 
01 - 403,000 - MAN OF THE WOODS - Justin Timberlake
02 - 328,000 - REARVIEW TOWN - Jason Aldean
03 - 316,000 - COME TOMORROW - Dave Matthews Band
04 - 258,000 - BEERBONGS & BENTLEYS - Post Malone
05 - 241,000 - KOD - J Cole
06 - 209,000 - BLACK PANTHER: THE ALBUM - Soundtrack
07 - 199,000 - GRAFFITI U - Keith Urban
08 - 179,000 - SHAWN MENDES - Shawn Mendes
09 - 178,000 - INVASION OF PRIVACY - Cardi B
10 - 164,000 - LOVE YOURSELF: TEAR - BTS

Had U2 released Songs Of Experience in January of 2018, it would be at about #3 or #4 on this list of the best selling releases of 2018 as of July 2018.

But, there are other factors to look at here. The fact is, most of the public does not purchase albums anymore, whether they be digital or physical. Over 60% of the public is streaming all their music now whether its single individual songs or whole albums. People who by individual digital tracks make up another 20%, and finally the people who still purchase albums(digital or physical) make up the remaining 20%.

U2 has very poor streaming numbers and individual digital track purchase numbers. Justin Timberlake does better. For example his first single from his new album, a song called Filthy has 64 million views on youtube, while is song with Chris Stapleton called "Say Something" has 232 million views on youtube. Compare that to U2's "You're The Best Thing about Me" which only has 12 million views after nearly a year after it was released to youtube.

So while Songs Of Experience is close in sales to Justin Timberlakes new album, its really when you look at streaming figures for songs from each album where you start to see the real difference.

So there are some good things about U2's numbers for Songs Of Experience, but also some other things that are not so good about it. What U2 needs is better streaming and individual digital track downloads to go along with their album sales numbers then they would be up there with the likes of Justin Timberlake and others.

What is happening also may be a generational issue. 80%  of U2's fans that are still following the band are between the ages of 41 and 55. Not old in reality, but old by music industry standards. The older crowd still buys albums(digital or Physical). The younger crowd streams all their music now.

So Justin Timberlake has the best selling album released in 2018 thanks largely to his "older fans" it would seem. Most of the fan activity for his new album though comes from streaming which is where all his younger fans are listening to his new music.

The album sales for Songs Of Experience are still very important though because that is how most of the fans of new music are obtaining it. But when looking at overall popularity compared to other artist new music, the numbers do have to be put into a much broader context when a comparison is made. A context that also looks at streaming, individual track downloads as well as album sales(digital and physical).

I find all of this just to be rationalizing a substandard album that was not well received. AND lets by accurate - a large % of the sales were from ticket buyers. I LOVE U2, but would not have paid for this album, I only got 4 copies because I purchased tickets to see them a few times on the tour.

Well this is more of a sales thread than whether you like the music on the album. I love the album and think its great and find it disappointing that more dedicated fans have not purchased it or listened to it on whatever format that use for music.

Still though, selling 320,000 copies in the United States these days is not bad especially when you look at the top sellers released so far in 2018 above. Its just that the majority of people don't actually buy music anymore, they just stream it. But for U2 and those interested in U2, album purchases, both physical and digital is where you will find the vast majority of the business activity. There has been very little streaming activity for the album though especially when compared with other albums and artist, many of whom are much younger.

I do find it a bit odd to be paying hundreds of dollars for tickets to a tour based around this album, but being unwilling to pay 10$ or 15$ dollars for the album itself.


Wons, with total respect, I would like to try to explain to you why I believe that is. 

One obvious reason is that a CD came with your ticket.  But beyond that...

I donít even own a CD player any more.  The one in my car doesnít work.  I didnít even request the free CDs that came with my tickets.  I simply have no use for a physical CD and Iím not the collecting type.  I see it as a symbolic, if inconsequential, waste of natural resources (for me personally).  I donít see it as material to me or U2 as a show of financial support to throw them another $10 when i just gave them $400 and they offered to send me two free CDs AND they are (collectively) billionaires.  When I see local bands, guess what?  I still donít buy their CD.  But I do put $20 in their tip jar.  I essentially buy the CD but let them keep the plastic.  If I really like the band I may buy the CD and rip it on my computer so I can upload it to my music locker and stream it.

The streaming model is not perfect for music yet.  The streaming services are all losing money.  Yet it is working for video, even though the cost of production for movie and TV is greater than that for music.  Why is that?  Its because Netflix has many more subscribers than the music services.  In the old world before the internet, very few people spent $120/year on CDs.  Members of this forum are not typical music consumers.  Now, in the internet age, the industry has to get people who were buying 2 or 3 CDs a year to pay $10/month for streaming.  But it is growing fast and investors think it will get there.  Time will tell.

Another thing I think people misunderstand about streaming and artist compensation.  On average, artists receive from .006 to .008 per stream.  That is about equal to listening to your CD 200 times.  (Assuming 12 songs on a CD and only .005.) If you listen to SOE more than 200 times you are paying U2 less than I am if I do the same over a streaming service.  And yes, Iíve listened to all my U2 albums that much!  Plus the old ones I bought on vinyl, then on CD, then some on CD again.  Now I pay monthly to stream and 90% of what I stream I already bought on CD back when I was still using CDs.   U2 is still getting paid by me every time I listen to New Years Day.

Now thatís not the same for new acts or recordins and Iím not saying streaming is great and CDs are bad.  All I am saying is the model is changing and there are many ways to support artists.  Frankly, U2 is doing just fine and I play by their rules.  For smaller artists there are other options.  Iíve contributed to PledgeMusic campaigns for struggling but well-known artists.  That option didnít exist before the internet.  Artists at least have a chance now to be heard without getting a record deal.  Only a tiny fraction of artists ever got deals.  Times are changing and the industry will figure it out.  In the future CDs will be like vinyl...a little revenue stream from a very small number of people.  I spend more on music today than I ever have.  Its not going away, the revenue model is just changing and it will work out for Nashville just like it is for Hollywood once things fully transition.



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Were talking about ALBUM sales in this thread. Do your realize that means DIGITAL albums TOO. Probably about half of U2's album sales are in the DIGITAL format. So I don't understand why you keep going back to CD's, plastic, physical product etc. You can get the album in a digital format or physical format when you purchased the ticket or whenever you purchased the album if you purchased it. But not everyone requested the album when they purchased the ticket. You had to select the option.

Growing up most people I knew purchased multiple Compact Disk, Audio Cassettes, or Vinyl albums/records every month. By the end of high school or the start of college, most people I knew had collections of several hundred CD's, Tapes, records etc. None of us would have been able to build collections of music like that at just four albums a year. The peak of the music industry was in the year 2000-2001. In the year 2001, there were 100 albums that sold over 1 million copies during the 12 months of 2001. Last year in 2017, there were only 2 that did and that includes digital copies. So far this year there is one, but that will likely be it.

The recording industry in the United States is making less thatn 1/4 of what it used to make in the year 2000 once you adjust for inflation, even with all the streaming and individual track downloads etc. The industry has been destroyed as any industry would thats lost 75% of its business. The industry should be 25% to 50% larger than it was in the year 2000 do to population growth and the growing wealth of the country. But insttead, its only 1/4 the size it once was despite all the attempts to try and find a way to fix the problem of people getting their music for free essentially.


Finally with streaming, the ultimate comparison is someone putting a quarter into a Juke Box in 1985 and getting to hear one song. By comparison in 2018, that same 25 cents buys any music you want to listen to for the next 24 hours continuously. Thats terrible for artist and its why there are fewer bands today than there were in 1985. Most artist today are solo artist and they are making far less money than their peers in 1985. Artist today are scraping by to survive. Most people don't go the band route anymore because what little money is made is split 4 or 5 ways. Its part of why new rock music has declined because that type of music usually comes from a band format rather than a solo artist. Much easier to support the solo dance/pop, hip-hop, an rap artist. No band, no band equipment, just the electronics of the studio and pre-recorded tracks if there is a "live" performance.


The industry is dead compared to where it was back in the year 2000 or earlier and I have stacks of numbers, and statistics to prove it. Larry Mullen Jr. even advised his children against going into the industry like he did because the chances of making it today are so slim compared to decades ago. Sting had two of children go into the industry, but despite good talent and lots of help, neither of them were able to succeed, never making enough money to do anything more than put food in their mouth. Bono's son Eli is trying, but I doubt he'll be anymore successful than Sting's kids were.


There is simply a limit to how much money you can make when people can simply obtain your music for free. No business can thrive when the customer can get the product for free. Streaming is not rebuilding the industry. Its simply preventing it from collapsing faster than it already is. That is is what the overall gross and revenue figures for the industry on an annual basis show. The best time to be an artist in the music industry was the late 1990 into the first years of the 00s.

I feel like you never address my points and refute them diectly but I guess that is how we all are.

Nobody was ever putting a quarter in the jukebox every hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days/week, 52 weeks /year.

Also , there are some platitudes I hear repeated that donít hold up to scrutiny.  Like the solo artist argument.   How many artists do you think work on a solo artistís album?  There is still a band involved and they have to be paid.  So this idea that the ratio of solos to bands is evidence of something really doesnít make sense.

 And there is more music being produced than ever.  You like to exclude non-major label music.  All of your numbers are based on the conventional industry but that is not where its at.  Major labels and big studios are not necessary any more.  Some of the best music out there is from indie artists and they are making enough to live the dream.  Not everyone needs to be a millionaire.  But weíre treading old ground here.

Some valid points on both sides I think.


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I never said someone was putting a quarter in a jukebox 24 hours a day, 7 days a week etc. But what you pay to spotify per day is the equivalent of a quarter which would only get you one song in 1985 on juke box with a limited collection. Pretty good for the artist in 1985. Not good at all in 2018.

For the solo artist, there probably is not a band involved. It may just be producer and the artist, with the producer using the studio to replace what a band would have done before. With the technology of the studio all it takes is a producer who knows how to use it and whatever the solo artist has to contribute. No band needed. That's how the majority of music is being made these days. Its a good thing to, because it cuts down the cost dramatically when less people are involved. 90% of the HOT 100(singles/songs chart) is all solo artist. The HOT 100 is up to date and includes streaming from spotify and youtube, so it is the cutting edge in determining what is popular out there and what is actually making money.

Indie artist or non-signed artist make up less than 10% of the gross made per year by the music industry.

In my opinion, rock music was far better in the 1980s and today its practically dead when it comes to new artist. I mean what artist would most closely resemble U2 of the 1980s in the 2010s in terms of quality of rock music as well as live performance? This past decade that is coming to a close has been the worst in terms of new artist in history.

Not everyone needs to be a millionaire, but everyone needs to eat. That's why a lot of artist work a regular day job and are no more than a part time artist and will likely stay that way and never receive any significant recognition, and are probably still unknown to you and me.

I know you didnít say they were plugging the juke box continuously but that would need to be the case for your comparison to be valid.  That is a false equivalence.

No band needed?  You seriously think major label records are made without session players?  Do you even read liner notes?  Taylor Swiftís last record had over 25 musicians credited.

Check out Mutemath for just one.


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When the record label does use musicians for its artist, its often the same session musicians. Their not tied to any particular artist and can be used for multiple artist. So that is not the same thing as paying a band. Again, its more difficult to support a band of five people than it is to support a solo artist. That's why the number of bands has dropped over the past 20 years and there are more solo artist. Its killing the Rock music genre with number and quality of new artist coming out dropping.


Rock is ebbing because its not popular right now.  The charts have always been dominated by solo acts outside of the rock genre.  If you look back to the sixties, rock has waxed and waned throughout.  Today, its waning has alot to do with a trend started by American Idol and The Voice which include only solo artists.  Even acts like David Cook, who was in a band but entered American Idol as a solo artist and is clearly a Rock artist is marketed as a solo act because that is how he is known from the show. Many solo artists have a dedicated band they record with but they still show up in the stats as a solo artist.  Bands were big in the 70s and 80s as a pop identity.  Now not so much.  Not everything is a victim of streaming.  Youíve oversimplified things in your mind.  Lots of factors affect trends.
99
General Music Discussion / Re: Old acts that "kids these days" like
« Last post by JonD on July 16, 2018, 08:15:43 AM »
As a high school teacher I must say Queen and Pink Floyd (esp. Dark Side) are popular.
100
General U2 Discussion / Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Last post by wons on July 16, 2018, 06:52:26 AM »
On the Billboard 200, the chart that tracks the top albums by considering "streaming of songs from the album" and converting that into SEA equivalent album units as well individual track downloads and converting that into TEA equivalent album units, then combining that with actual album sales, both physical and digital, Drake's new album Scorpion is #1.

Drakes "Scorpion" sold 335,000 equivalent albums this week.

Here is how Drake's Scorpion breaks down those 335,000 equivalent albums between Streaming(SEA), individual track downloads(TEA), and regular album sales.

Streaming(SEA) - 288,000
individual Track Downloads(TEA) - 18,000
regular album sales - 29,000

           Less than 10% of his sales for the album come from actual album sales whether they be digital or physical. The 288,000 SEA equivalent album units was = to 391 million on demand audio streams.


The album that placed at #3 on the Billboard 200 this week is STREAMING ONLY. Not a single album was sold whether it be physical or digital. No individual tracks were downloaded. All of its units came from streaming. The artist is FUTURE and the album is Beastmode 2. It did 57,000 equivalent units = to 75 million on demand audio streams.


So you can now top the official album chart, the Billboard 200, without selling a single digital or physical album. The public does not have to purchase anything from the artist in fact. They can just stream a song from the album and if enough people stream songs from the album, the album can be #1.


U2 is the polar opposite of Drake with 96% of its units coming from actual album sales, physical or digital. That is why it is so important to track U2's album actual album sales because that is where their new music is doing all the business. Streaming and individual track downloads account for only a TINY portion of U2's total equivalent album sales for Songs Of Experience.

Songs Of Experience has done about 340,000 in equivalent album sales, with 319,000 coming from actual album sales, digital or physical. So total streaming and individual track downloads for Songs Of Experience is only = to about 21,000 units in album sales. It takes 10 track downloads to equal 1 album sale, and 1,500 streams to equal 1 album sale.
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