Author Topic: U2 failure to understand technology a problem  (Read 7542 times)

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Offline Flying_Leg_Kick

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #60 on: November 23, 2014, 11:33:12 AM »
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could be a NDA with Livenation?

could it be that livenation has them in a vice grip?

edge used to tweet some pictures, didnt he?

that was so cool!

The he just stopped.

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This is something that really puzzled me about U2 over the last decade or so. They had the rights to their digital music written into their contract in the early '90s. They saw downloading music coming that early on. They had the first number 1 song on iTunes. They had the U2 iPod. Edge and Bono were so vocally supportive about downloading their material from the early 2000s on, as long as no one was getting ripped off. After Atomic Bomb, though, it felt like they really lost track of digital media and, by extension, social media. I think the iTunes SOI release will work out for the best in the long term as it has people talking about U2 a hell of a lot more than they would be otherwise, and there are a ton of people who were pretty unaware of U2 previously who now are aware of them. I like that they're still looking forward to how to release their music, but their social presence still leaves a lot to be desired.

I don't know if it would be Live Nation or UMG (Island/Interscope).  Apple, otoh, especially if they've had some remaining "dibs" on various U2 projects.  If the plan was to always launch a new U2 album at an Apple event, regardless if Apple was going to buy it to "freely release" it, the "silence" seems to jive with Apple's style.

UMG's acquisition of Island is one that I think made the group better on that front.  Being a collector, chasing after some of the Island material was just maddening.  The moment Universal took them over, it was like the floodgates opened, and while U2 material was spread further out, it didn't seem to be so difficult to acquire.  I know some of that was a change in the industry models, the movement to digital files over tangible mediums, iTunes and U2's relationship with Apple in general, but it seemed to just get easier.

Offline ian ryan

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #61 on: November 23, 2014, 02:14:25 PM »
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Stopped reading at "U2 failure"

Really? Why is that?
Just poking a little fun at my perceived hyperbole of the thread title. I did read the OP. I don't see a "PR mess" nor Bono thinking himself above the Pope or the POTUS simply because they use social media (I wonder if either of them have thought of using free podcasts on iTunes, but i digress). Plenty of people who don't have Facebook/Twitter don't see a problem, and I'm pretty sure plenty of people who have Facebook/Twitter don't see a problem either. One of the reasons i posted earlier in this thread about going to the public library computer for band nuggets pre-Pop is that I miss some of that mystery and mythology about my favorite band.  They were shrouded in secrecy and anticipation and I loved it. My apologies to the author and the mods if it came across as offensive in any way.

But that is simply not how publicity behaves in this day and age. You may find it comfortable considering it's how you came to know the band, but there are many millions of people who use those services daily. It was really, really, REALLY weird that U2 didn't have an active presence on Twitter for so long. In many ways, it seems so antithetical to how canny and ambitious they were during the '90s. They stayed on top of the media presence better than any other band out there, and it felt like they were going to continue into the '00s with the way they promoted ATYCLB.

I think dumping McGuinness and going with Oseary has been a big step in the right direction, as they at least feel a little ambitious about it again. The website could still use a major overhaul, and they could definitely use more of a presence on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, as opposed to still focusing on Q and Mojo.

Offline Flying_Leg_Kick

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2014, 05:37:14 PM »
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But that is simply not how publicity behaves in this day and age. You may find it comfortable considering it's how you came to know the band, but there are many millions of people who use those services daily. It was really, really, REALLY weird that U2 didn't have an active presence on Twitter for so long. In many ways, it seems so antithetical to how canny and ambitious they were during the '90s. They stayed on top of the media presence better than any other band out there, and it felt like they were going to continue into the '00s with the way they promoted ATYCLB.

I think dumping McGuinness and going with Oseary has been a big step in the right direction, as they at least feel a little ambitious about it again. The website could still use a major overhaul, and they could definitely use more of a presence on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, as opposed to still focusing on Q and Mojo.

Very well said.

Offline ZooClothes

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2014, 06:04:44 PM »
I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.

Offline ian ryan

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #64 on: November 24, 2014, 11:19:03 AM »
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I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.

And I agree on the iTunes deal. In the long run, I think that will prove to be a smart move, even if there was some blowback initially. However, just because you don't use those social media outlets doesn't mean that there aren't millions of fans and more millions of potential fans who do. If they maintain what they're doing, you'll be happy. If they branch out into the new opportunities, other fans will be happy and they may make new happy fans. It seems silly to just cover one side, rather than both. Your use case may be developed over time, but that no longer means it's the most popular, or even the most common any more. At this point you may be the outlier rather than the mainstream in their fan base and their potential new fans. 

Offline ZooClothes

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #65 on: November 24, 2014, 01:45:35 PM »
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I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.

And I agree on the iTunes deal. In the long run, I think that will prove to be a smart move, even if there was some blowback initially. However, just because you don't use those social media outlets doesn't mean that there aren't millions of fans and more millions of potential fans who do. If they maintain what they're doing, you'll be happy. If they branch out into the new opportunities, other fans will be happy and they may make new happy fans. It seems silly to just cover one side, rather than both. Your use case may be developed over time, but that no longer means it's the most popular, or even the most common any more. At this point you may be the outlier rather than the mainstream in their fan base and their potential new fans.
And I think a year or five years from now they'll have more new fans because of SoI (and SoE) on iTunes  than anything they could do on social media. But I definitely get it. I just don't see a "failure" or a "problem".

Offline Flying_Leg_Kick

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #66 on: November 25, 2014, 01:31:35 PM »
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I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.

And I agree on the iTunes deal. In the long run, I think that will prove to be a smart move, even if there was some blowback initially. However, just because you don't use those social media outlets doesn't mean that there aren't millions of fans and more millions of potential fans who do. If they maintain what they're doing, you'll be happy. If they branch out into the new opportunities, other fans will be happy and they may make new happy fans. It seems silly to just cover one side, rather than both. Your use case may be developed over time, but that no longer means it's the most popular, or even the most common any more. At this point you may be the outlier rather than the mainstream in their fan base and their potential new fans.
And I think a year or five years from now they'll have more new fans because of SoI (and SoE) on iTunes  than anything they could do on social media. But I definitely get it. I just don't see a "failure" or a "problem".

I don't know about that.  I think U2's strength above all has been their ability to perform at an unrivaled level in a live forum.  To that extent, some of the social media, PR gaffes, or mistakes have had both a profound influence over the perception of the band to no change at all.  Heck, NLOTH was a commercial flop (for U2 anyway) that is somewhat redeemed by the overall popularity and success of the 360 Tour, whereas the rush job that was Pop and Pop Mart took its shots in the US, while Europe had a different experience; Pop's success or lack thereof is a very debatable one.

Until some good touring cleanses some critics' or humbugs' palates, the current efforts only have what they have going for it: a mysterious effort with some production hiccups innovatively yet divisively delivered, though upstaged by another project that's just as shrouded in mystery.  I don't consider myself a hater or even an embittered fan turned critic.  But I think I do see what some critics and ex-fans see.  I have opened up as a music fan because of U2, including my indulging in social media and the internet to follow the acts I enjoy.  To me, it just seemed like U2 "disappeared" for some time there, and when they resurfaced, thanks to that absence on different platforms, their "surprise" wasn't met with open arms and loud, positive praise.  It came off as a bit eery, tacky, and, because of the almost unapologetic nature of the ploy, arrogant.  I don't think full transparency from the band is any right entitled to a fan...but the choices to abstain from certain platforms and stay consistently mum on the project until it released - to mixed reviews and a lot of questions - that sort of obscurity in the current landscape just doesn't jive.  You can't expect people not to notice that.

I don't think the band needs constant reassurance through incessant media inundation, either, but as ian ryan said, I don't think reliance on Mojo, Q, and other print media is exactly how to go about it.  This is a band that wants to reach everyone.  Do you do that by falling off the radar for some time and keeping your projects a total secret, spilling the beans in a rag every once in a while, or do you have to use these obscenely popular platforms to assist?

Offline MASTER YODA

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #67 on: November 25, 2014, 01:38:10 PM »
I remember reading an article on how they were supposedly fascinated by Technology, it doesn't make sense they don't use it.

Offline rcamu2

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #68 on: November 25, 2014, 03:28:50 PM »
They just used it to achieve possibly the widest mass distribution of a new album by any band ever.



Offline ian ryan

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #69 on: November 25, 2014, 06:50:41 PM »
On the bright side, they've finally made their website look somewhat modern and easily navigable, with the bonus being only available as vinyl and download. I like having a big U2 CD collection, but this is definitely the right direction for them to go in overall.

Offline summerrain

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #70 on: November 26, 2014, 12:34:50 AM »
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I understand all of these points and they were very well articulated. But as someone who has none of these social media outlets, it may not register as much with me. I personally think their iTunes release method trumps all of them.

And I agree on the iTunes deal. In the long run, I think that will prove to be a smart move, even if there was some blowback initially. However, just because you don't use those social media outlets doesn't mean that there aren't millions of fans and more millions of potential fans who do. If they maintain what they're doing, you'll be happy. If they branch out into the new opportunities, other fans will be happy and they may make new happy fans. It seems silly to just cover one side, rather than both. Your use case may be developed over time, but that no longer means it's the most popular, or even the most common any more. At this point you may be the outlier rather than the mainstream in their fan base and their potential new fans.
And I think a year or five years from now they'll have more new fans because of SoI (and SoE) on iTunes  than anything they could do on social media. But I definitely get it. I just don't see a "failure" or a "problem".

I don't know about that.  I think U2's strength above all has been their ability to perform at an unrivaled level in a live forum.  To that extent, some of the social media, PR gaffes, or mistakes have had both a profound influence over the perception of the band to no change at all.  Heck, NLOTH was a commercial flop (for U2 anyway) that is somewhat redeemed by the overall popularity and success of the 360 Tour, whereas the rush job that was Pop and Pop Mart took its shots in the US, while Europe had a different experience; Pop's success or lack thereof is a very debatable one.

Until some good touring cleanses some critics' or humbugs' palates, the current efforts only have what they have going for it: a mysterious effort with some production hiccups innovatively yet divisively delivered, though upstaged by another project that's just as shrouded in mystery.  I don't consider myself a hater or even an embittered fan turned critic.  But I think I do see what some critics and ex-fans see.  I have opened up as a music fan because of U2, including my indulging in social media and the internet to follow the acts I enjoy.  To me, it just seemed like U2 "disappeared" for some time there, and when they resurfaced, thanks to that absence on different platforms, their "surprise" wasn't met with open arms and loud, positive praise.  It came off as a bit eery, tacky, and, because of the almost unapologetic nature of the ploy, arrogant.  I don't think full transparency from the band is any right entitled to a fan...but the choices to abstain from certain platforms and stay consistently mum on the project until it released - to mixed reviews and a lot of questions - that sort of obscurity in the current landscape just doesn't jive.  You can't expect people not to notice that.

I don't think the band needs constant reassurance through incessant media inundation, either, but as ian ryan said, I don't think reliance on Mojo, Q, and other print media is exactly how to go about it.  This is a band that wants to reach everyone.  Do you do that by falling off the radar for some time and keeping your projects a total secret, spilling the beans in a rag every once in a while, or do you have to use these obscenely popular platforms to assist?

But how could they spill the beans on those platforms if the goal was a surprise release?

Offline Flying_Leg_Kick

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Re: U2 failure to understand technology a problem
« Reply #71 on: November 26, 2014, 07:25:04 AM »
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But how could they spill the beans on those platforms if the goal was a surprise release?

When and how were the surprise.  It wasn't like we didn't know they were working on an album (actually, two at one point, if one counts the remix or dance album).  We've known that since 2010.  Heck, maybe even before that, since they said they had material for multiple albums out of the NLOTH sessions.  But, unlike NLOTH, we weren't getting blog posts or Instagram shots of them in the studio, or tweets about laying down a beat or riff here and there.  The guys and Danger Mouse said they couldn't talk about it.  So, to me at least, it seemed like U2 signed their whole life away on this project.

If that's the case, that they did hide this thing entirely with the help of non-disclosure agreements with Apple or their label or whatever, I think that's a PR or management issue.  That they gave that part over to people who may not have quite grasped modern media and social networking, or to people who thought they did and were going to revolutionize something, only for it not to pan out.  Or, maybe this project was supposed to be something way bigger, but SoI was all that they could release?