U2's Cross Marketing Machine "The Walking Dead"

U2’s marketing machine has always been on top of their game. Cross marketing into current TV, series seems to be something new for the boys from Dublin. “The Troubles” has started to appear in “The Walking Dead” series, which is extremely popular in the US.

The clips titled with reference to U2 and only feature U2 music. No band images are within and the band not expected to appear within any of the commercials.  

U2 has new management that clearly understands how to reach the younger audiences. We can expect that U2 will appear within more cross marketing and promotional messaging as the machine continues to ramp towards 2015.

Songs of Experience Almost Ready

Adam had a lovely outing recently that allowed us to peek into what is up next for the boys.  He said the next project is about 70% complete with some fine turning going on right now. They have the layout of the songs that they plan to have on the album. Suggested a possible different way of releasing the music next time around suggested that we might see a completely new method of delivering music.  

Adam has been quoted as saying "Depending on how long it takes to be completed, there may be a whole new delivery method invented by then. I think we just have to wait and see," he said. "There will be a bit of water under the bridge before we get to that point.

Songs Of Innocence, eligible Grammy

Did you ever doubt the U2 marketing machines would allow the bands hard work go unnoticed for Grammy consideration? The label rush out to a very small limited group of record stories a vinyl copy of current release made available for sale by today's cut off point.

Sources inside the machine said that the band and the label knew that they needed release something before the cut off to considered.

Grammy guidelines are very clear and communicated that the band will be eligible for the upcoming 57th Annual Grammy Awards on February 8th, 2015. "As long as the album, be it CD, vinyl or digital, is available commercially for sale to the public by our eligibility cutoff date at a nationally recognized retailer or website, then it's eligible for consideration,"

The fine print states: For the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards, albums must be released between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014. Recordings must be commercially released in general distribution in the United States, i.e. sales by label to a branch or recognized independent distributor, via the Internet, or mail order/retail sales for a nationally marketed product. Recordings must be available for sale from any date within the eligibility period through at least the date of the current year's voting deadline (final ballot).

Why U2 Matters, Pt. 1

Michael Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez

By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ

Perhaps the greatest myth perpetuated since the advent of Facebook and Twitter is that all opinions have clout.

You can now find keyboard warriors likening themselves to hipsters and elitists – although I doubt they understand what those terms truly imply – and believing that what they have to say really matters. But they’re not completely at fault. Consider the fact that these very people are encouraged when their tweets and statuses are quoted in hard news stories about the latest controversies gone viral; as if whatever “@jengirl2002,” “Philip the Destroyer of Waffles,” “Tyler, The Creator” or “Sharon Osbourne” says is somehow relevant for all of us.

Yeah...doubtful.

Enter U2. On Sept. 9, 2014, the legendary band’s long-awaited followup to 2009’s meditative No Line on the Horizon finally arrived, and it was a surprise! In a fitting collaboration with Apple at the tech leviathan’s annual press conference, U2 announced the release of their new album, Songs of Innocence, at no cost to iTunes subscribers.

Now, before I continue, remember that the only press U2 received prior to the hilarity that ensued following Songs’ release was its delay. Citing a source, Billboard.com had previously announced that the new U2 album and tour were pushed back to next year. In short, this was an album people wanted; otherwise, surely an institution as reputable as Billboard.com wouldn’t have gone to such lengths as publishing an article projecting the postponement of the world’s biggest band’s heavily-anticipated new album solely on the merits of a single source... unless, of course, it was a matter of importance and significance to its readers.

But I digress.

So a few people went bananas because they got Songs and didn’t want it, and the album’s release is suddenly labeled a “disaster?” According to whom exactly: The small, albeit loud handful of people who logged onto social media networks where they vomited their disdain for U2, or the pretentious critics whose reviews have been far more critical of the method of release and Bono’s humanitarianism than the actual music.

Neither are very compelling arguments.

While I realize there have been thousands, heck...let’s say tens of thousands of complaints about the new U2 being gifted to people who didn’t ask for it, I refer to this group as “small” because – when compared to the sheer volume represented in the 38 million who’ve reportedly listened to Songs – the haters are indeed dwarfed.

And yet, Apple felt so compelled by the supposed backlash of a small contingency that it actually created a button to remove the album from users’ iTunes accounts. That said, let’s stop and consider what this situation has really taught us: To get what you want, all you have to do is be loud and obnoxious, and even a corporation as big and powerful as Apple will bend to your will.

This, ladies and gents, is far more offensive and alarming than any album that finds its way onto your devices.

Granted, this is just my opinion, and I did after all imply that not all opinions matter. So why should mine? Well, I’m not asking that my word be taken as gospel. What I will ask is that you take the millions of people who made the U2 360 Tour the highest-grossing, highest-attended tour of all time into consideration. Approximately 10 million people alone watched the band’s 2009 Pasadena, California show via YouTube. More than 25 of the band’s records have charted on iTunes since Songs was released, and let’s not forget the aforementioned 38 million listens/downloads (...and counting) the new album is currently enjoying.

This, my friends, is no disaster. This band is still very much in demand, maybe more now than ever.

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Songs of Innocence is a tour de force plagued only by one thing – the self-importance of people who hated U2 anyway. They were only given a mouthpiece this time because of two reasons: 1.) The nature of the release opened the door for them to vent; and 2.) Because their hate-filled diatribes supported theories that giving music away to consumers is the death rattle of an already-broken music industry. Well, the alarmists who espouse such theories are right about one thing. The music industry is broken, but it’s not because of free albums. The cancer that’s consuming popular music today is...well, music today. Gifting Songs to iTunes subscribers was only an admirable attempt to treat a symptom. I can only hope that this new music format helmed by Apple that Bono has reportedly said is in the works will indeed be a game-changer.

In the meantime, remember that U2 continues to represent all that rock and roll once stood for: passion, innovation and rebellion. In a day and age when rock doesn’t matter anymore, it’s refreshing to see that U2 still does.

Note: Michael Rodriguez is a journalist who hails from a border community in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, where he serves as the managing editor of the semi-weekly newspaper, the San Benito News. Part 2 of his series, “Why U2 Matters,” will focus on the writer’s love for the band and how it inspired him to seek a career in writing and journalism.

The Boys in Dublin

LZuni

LZuni

The boys happen to be in Dublin for a Rolling Stones cover shoot.  We are not sure if they stopped in for a few pints at the Guinness Storehouse however we do know that they borrowed a couple of boxer dogs from folks passing by.

Its just over a week ago that the largest album release ever which soon will be available to 119 countries was released.  The blow back was a bit much, some of the younger apple device owners had no clue who U2 was nor did they want to even check it out.  

During Bono’s Radio 2 interview, he said he was happy with the results of the number of listeners and that its pretty cool to have a 38 million people to get your music all at once.

LZuni

LZuni

Bono also went on to say no one has deleted more U2 songs than U2 as well as pointed out  "All I can say is that there's a lot of blood, sweat and tears which went into your junk mail."

U2's marketing machine continues to promote this album and is looking to have a big release in a few weeks.

We know that the announcement of tour dates will follow shortly and we even have a few locations that the boys are sure to be putting on a brand new show.

Songs Of Innocence (Behind the Scenes)

In the two minute clip, Bono opens up with some rather prophetic statements about the band’s new work. “These songs were always destined,” he’s heard to remark as they tune up instruments.

“But rather than it being paint by number where it’s very disciplined and prescribed.

I always think of the zen artists – they spend all their time mixing the ink.

And it’s those last few minutes where those gestures are recorded. That’s the way all our albums go.”

The video depicts the band’s tight space, playing with hard guitar lines, different vocal styles and discussing how imagination and art work together.

And even though the studio looks like a rather poorly lit place, rest-assured Bono doesn’t lose his sunglasses.

U2 Blasted ! Summer 2015 !

Now that we have had a few days to dig into the album and take a listen it seems that some fans have found their way to the the top of the food chain to blast the boys on a free album release on Apple. Calling them "Sell outs" Rich old dudes" and "Lame"  Change is not always good for everyone. Some view change as a departure from what is safe and secure throwing anger towards it makes them feel better. We guess. 

Fan pages have been popping up all over the place offering suggestions of when the next tour might happen.  Its really comes down to availability of locations around the word and routing the band in the right direction to make the most money possible on the road. This will take time.  We heard that we should not expect anything sooner than 2015 and it will run always out into 2016.

We u2 fans really did not know how close to over this really was. Yes over, finished, done and final. Not talking about the music; talking about the band. Sources ( hate when we say this, however we have been asked to not say who) close to the band say that this has been a challenging time for them. This album has had a lot of start and stops and a lot of redirection, to the point that it pulled the boys apart for a bit. Now truth be told that any labor of love will cause some drama and the suggestion that the boys may end this ride seem as possible as humm what ?  Marriages are challenging and the boys have been marriages along time; let them have their private fights and lets just enjoy the music. 

We at U2TOURFANS have a lot in store for you. We are going to gear up a massive U2 touring team that will provide the best coverage of the band, videos, and concert news possible. Watch for over the next few weeks our brand new community center.

Cheers

 

U2 Songs of Innocence and Experience

U2 released their 13th studio album yesterday (gosh we had hoped for the title Lucky 13) “Songs of Innocence” considered a surprise release and a super surprise “free” download. 

The marketing machines have really gone back and pulled out some old tricks for this one. However, that is not of interest to most U2 fans.

What really matters is the music! Yea I could use the terms “gestation” “delay” “lack of focus” however who really gives a crap about that when the music has arrived to us via iTunes just waiting for us to download.

Gene Simmons said Rock is dead, well U2 most not have gotten the funeral notice; this album is brilliant, fluid, bold and most of all fresh with tip of the hat to the past. Lets call this a reconnection to their past and to future audiences.

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Bono and Edge created visions of a punk rock era and provided some balance for those that have yet to embrace the concept of punk rock.

Keeping it simple as to grab the attention of the youth today and U2’s attempt to remain relevant may cause some U2; fans to think that void commercialism and stay true to their roots. 

U2 is not a band that stands on past performances and while no tour dates announced surely we will see the boys across the world in 2015. 

Time will tell if Bono has met his goal to stay relevant and if fans embrace “Songs of Innocence”. I at first glance believe that we got our chance to see lighting in a bottle again. I am sure to have more to say about this over the next few weeks.  Bono did drop us a note updating on the next album to be released called " Songs of Experience"

We’re collaborating with Apple on some cool stuff over the next couple of years, innovations that will transform the way music is listened to and viewed. We’ll keep you posted. If you like Songs of Innocence,  stay with us for Songs of Experience. It should be ready soon enough… although I know I’ve said that before…

 

No Billboard or No Grammy nod for U2

The world was surprised today by the release of U2’s  “Songs of Innocence” as a free download on for iTunes account holders and streamed on Beats Music you will not see the album make the Billboard top 200. 

Yup since the album really does not go on sale until October 14th pretty much knocks it out of Billboard and also knocked them out of Grammy consideration.  Rules for Grammy consideration are very clear.


 "The album must be commercially available in order for it to be eligible, and the official release date determines its eligibility in a particular awards year," a Grammys rep told Billboard. "In this case, the album is commercially available on Oct. 14, 2014, so it will be eligible for consideration for the 58th Grammy Awards."


Apple has a spend of in excess of $100 Million on an ad campaign supporting the release of the new devices which includes the single "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone."  No word on how much Apple paid U2 for the single or the early release of the album however you can be sure that Bono and the boys did not let it go out the door cheap.


Now U2 and management will have a chance to talk to the Academy to get some understanding on the rules however for now is a celebration for U2 fans and for the band to finally release some new music.

 

U2 Tracks "Songs of Innocence"

U2 released their first new album in five years today “Songs of Innocence” Apple and U2 worked to bring the album to the world for free immediately to any one with an ITunes account. U2 can befit with over a half a billion users and the opportunity to share their music with the world. Bono said in his only exclusive interview with Rolling Stone's Gus Wenner the day before the press conference in an exclusive interview.

"Let's try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family.

The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. In addition, that is hard. But we went there."  We will be reviewing the album and will share our thoughts shortly.

1.    The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)
2.    Every Breaking Wave
3.    California (There is no End of Love)
4.    Iris (Hold Me Close)
5.    Volcano
6.     Raised By Wolves
7.    Cedarwood Road
8.    Sleep Like a Baby Tonight
9.    This is Where You Can Reach Me Now
10.    The Troubles