There was a terrific article in Monday’s NYT (Media Age Business Tips From U2) on U2 the corporation, and the lessons the band holds for other forms of Media:
"On the surface, the formula U2 used to send 20,000 fans into sing-along rapture at Madison Square Garden last Tuesday night was as old as rock ‘n’ roll: four blokes, three instruments, a bunch of good songs. Add fans, cue monstrous sound system, light fuse and back away.
But that does not explain why, 25 years in, four million people will attend 130 sold-out shows this year and next that will gross over $300 million and how their most recent album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," has already sold eight million copies.
For that, you have to look at U2 less as a band than as a multimillion-dollar, multinational media company, one of the smarter ones around."
Interesting take. The author breaks down what U2 does right into a few bullet points:
Meet The Consumers Where They Live
Apologize, Then Move On
Don’t Embarrass Your Fans
Be Careful How You Sell Out
Embrace Politicians, Not Politics
It’s Called Show Business For A Reason
Seize The Moment, But Don’t Steal It
For anyone in the Media business (Newspapers, Magazines, Internet, TV, Music, Film) the entire piece is well worth reading. (You can see some snaps I took at last Tuesday’s concert here).
Media Age Business Tips From U2
NYT, November 28, 2005