Monday, March 02, 2009
I'm very interested in new ways bands find to make money in the digital age. One I've just found - which may have been going for quite a while - is the U2 subscription model.
U2 are a band who always understood CRM (customer relationship management). My sister used to get their Propaganda newsletter back in the early 80s. (People forget that U2 had zillions of young female fans in the early days, and I can still remember one of her friends describing the 'Pride' video in breathless terms for about 5 minutes, particularly the boots Bono was wearing). So it's no surprise to see them doing interesting things online. Arguably more interesting things online than in the studio, but let's not get into that debate.
When you subscribe to U2.com for $50 per year you get lots of exclusive content, a premium message board, advance notice of tours, and now, and exclusive, limited edition 2CD set of studio out-takes and remastered B-sides.
I'd love to know the subscriber numbers; I'd guess that it's very profitable.