Monday, October 05, 2009

u2 conference: keynote Matt McGee @

U2 online: “They could be doing better” says Matt McGee.

Website here speaking on U2 fandom: When new media was the new idea. He will be giving a very visual performance.

June 30, 2009 – 1 fan with a cellphone and internet connection live streaming U2 concerts (free!). How did we get to this point that anyone in world can watch U2 live over the internet.

1980’s – U2’s Propaganda fanzine. ie you rely on band and media.

1990’s – internet starts. Wire – mailing list in October 1992.

2000’s – blogging. Social media begins. 15 years ago we were all in one place. Now we are everywhere. We are spread way wider.

U2 online – “they could be doing better” says Matt McGee. U2 game link. You have to help U2 avoid their fans! Why on earth would U2 do that! Finally, in 2000, U2com. Relaunch every time there is a new album. Not often in other words! But at least they’re there.

What does all this mean?

1. Internet’s impact on U2 fans.
– intensified fan experience by connecting with other U2 fans. But it means more obsessive, mob-like, hysterical, fans
– more information and not having to rely on what traditional media think is important
– 98% of fans say they rely on internet for information. But you lose surprise and you wonder if you went to the “wrong” show.
– changed relationship with music. It is now much more disposable and we lose the mystery, the excitement of hunting for their music.
– we are all “U2” media, with everybody is shooting photos of the band! We are distributers of information.

2. Internet’s impact on U2.
– many bands will love to have as many online fans as U2. We are passionate. We are their advertisers. June 13, 2009, U2 discovered twitter! But U2 never announced it! The fans did the work for them. Within the first 10 hours they had over 1,000 followers.
– loss of control, of image and brand. The image does not belong to U2, but to the fans. Paul McGuiness blamed new media for problems in music industry. NLOTH album was leaked online (by accident). 445,000 people downloaded it (illegally) before the release date.

3. Social media mistakes?
– Animation of Stand up comedy was not downloadable. Why? Why not let fans spread it for you?
– Only 18% of people (who responded to survey) said they got it from!!
– Holding onto the old. Still into mass marketing (billboard and glossy magazines). Cf Radiohead In Rainbows downloadable.

4. It is more difficult to surprise at shows
– ZooTV was fantastic. Yet the setlist was unchanging. So what would we have felt about that tour, now, in the internet age.

The entire Barcelona experience is now on web. Fans are making multi-cam experiences of concerts. Even with trailers. So what will U2 do? When, how will they push back?

cf a band like Collective Soul. They take fan questions on twitter. They post videos on Youtube. They run fan contests online.

For other posts on U2 conference go here.

Posted by steve at 02:31 AM

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