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U2.com 2018 Subscription FAQ Thread


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On 4/10/2018 at 6:13 PM, johnnyboy1 said:

There must have being more ideas going around the U2 office before they decided to choose the latest 2018 rattle and hum remix gift. Who wants remixes? Surely this is waste of effort manufacturing this? We've all heard these remixes before, so no big deal there?

some actual rarities always goes down a treat!!! But this gift could be the worst gift ever?

Duels has it beat.

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This part of the presale is for the North America leg - If you are outside this region but plan to attend any of these shows, please complete all the steps. For Europe, please wait until the proced

We are still working on this "Not Eligible email" issue... if you don't get any immediate answer to your PM, it doesn't mean we are doing nothing - there are many reports about this and they are arriv

...and today is a truly blessed day. After months of collective feedback-giving about the formats available to us for the annual gift, we have finally been heard. If you look in your account

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On 4/10/2018 at 11:54 PM, dmway said:

OK, I've had some time to decompress, but more has to be said...

I used to really look forward to the annual gift. I liked every single one ever released until "U2 Duals" (I know a lot of people here agree with that assessment - it was so roundly panned here that we actually got a response on-site about it). After "Duals", they came up with good gifts again, but now this is the third time in four years that they have released something mainly on vinyl, with only an mp3 option for those who have no interest whatsoever in vinyl. This is not good service. We all pay exactly the same dues - we ought to have the right to be equally satisfied with the gift (that we pay for).

Now, don't get me wrong - if you like vinyl and are happy with the vinyl, that's great and I'm genuinely happy for you. However, the rest of us are entitled to be happy as well. What was released for the 2015 and 2017 gifts (the early-career Dublin show and the JT singles) were good ideas; however, only releasing them in vinyl with a consolation mp3 as the only other option is just wrong. It is cheaper today to create factory-pressed silver CDs than vinyl - that's a fact. The music medium infrastructure today for CDs is what the infrastructure was for vinyl back in the early 80s and before. If the site doesn't want to produce both, why doesn't the option exist for us to get a CD-quality download so that we can make our own CDs? Lossless and WAV files can be easily and without cost be converted to mp3s. Everyone wins this way.

So, a few questions - why can't we choose the format of the music, if music is the gift in any given year? We really ought to be given the explicit choice. This would be very economical for the site as well. For example, the JT singles were made and posted to every paid-up U2.com member (well mostly, I know some are still waiting). Some people like vinyl; many don't - so why is everyone getting the same thing sent to them regardless? This is cost-ineffective in two ways - since vinyl cost more to produce than CDs, why would you send vinyl to those who would prefer CDs? Also, secondly, it costs more in postage to send vinyl than CDs - so, again, why would you pay the extra postage to send someone vinyl who would prefer CDs when it would be much cheaper to send these people CDs? The current practice defies basic common sense...

Another point - who exactly chooses what the gift is each year anyway? It's quite clear that we have no input whatsoever. There were a couple of threads here which collected people's thoughts on what would make a nice gift for 2018 - some were facetious, others were overly ambitious, but most were made sincerely - and the sincere ones were very good ideas. However, as we have just seen yet again for 2018, our opinions here did not make any substantive impact at all. I don't think anyone proposed/would have proposed what has been offered.

Now, there is something right about this gift - celebrating the 30th anniversary of Rattle and Hum was a good idea. However, this 2018 gift can't be the best possible idea to celebrate it. I may be wrong, but I sense that there is not an infinite appetite for remixes here. If I may be blunt, this appears to have been formulated to be relatively simple to create, not so much to be special to have.

So, a few humble suggestions for the present and the future:

If this gift is set in stone, could we please have downloads in suitable quality (lossless or WAV) so that we who prefer CDs can make our own CDs? (These higher-quality downloads can be converted to mp3s easily as well.)

In the future, could we please be part of the process of what the gift ends up being (both in the content and, in the case of music, the format)? This is a completely reasonable request. It would even save money both in manufacturing and in posting. I feel we have been led down the garden path a bit this year - it was at least implied, if not explicitly said, that our wishes for this year's gift would be listened to. If this in fact happened, I don't know how we can't be greatly confused by what ended up being offered.

Well, as I said already, I used to really look forward to these gifts; at first, the ideas were really good. However, in recent years, I don't think it is unfair to say they have been a bit underwhelming.

Please let us have more input into these (pre-paid) gifts...please...

 

I'm sorry you're bummed about the gift. I hear ya. I mean, I LOVE vinyl. I've been collecting it for a decade now so I'm cool with this being vinyl. Not really cool with the content etc. I'm like... Rattle And Hum? Really?!

That being said, I think you're spot on about the CD aspect. If they are going to do a music release and vinyl is a part of that and, knowing that not everyone wants or can play vinyl, therefore many will want an alternative, why not even go the extra step past mp3/lossless and actually PRESS a CD with the same packaging etc? I get it, this is a cool collector's item. But if you're just not into vinyl (regardless of whether or not you can play it) then an mp3 is not really a fair consolation in my estimation. I think if they want to please MORE people (they can't please them all), they should say "this year's gift is music, which do you prefer, CD or Vinyl" and that way those who want CD not only get something they can/prefer to play but they also get the collector's aspect of it too.

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On 4/11/2018 at 1:26 AM, joetracey1 said:

Very disappointed with this, which most fan who collected vinyl who already have, I wonder if we get Rattle and Hum 30th Anniversary Box Set In October this year

If they do a 30th Anniversary box set of Rattle and Hum (which I admit I'll buy just to have it) when they didn't do POP last year, I'll riot.

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I can't find the post now but whoever said that he/she would like to know how these things are chosen and who, ultimately, makes the final decision, I'm 100% on board with. 

Here's the thing. I love U2. I will probably always resubscribe - I've done it since the Elevation Tour (I think... is that when it started?). I am very well aware that U2 specifically is not necessarily to blame for the choice of material or the gift itself - that's LiveNation, most likely.

BUT

I used to work in a call center. I was employed by a big computer company. When I spoke to a customer on the phone, I wasn't Ender, I was that company. The point I'm trying to make here is U2 not making these decisions doesn't matter - it's their name on the site. And the fact that they are that uninvolved in this process doesn't help matters and actually makes things a bit worse, I wager. I don't blame them for the choice, but I do certainly blame them for their seeming lack of involvement in it. These are, after all, the folks who love them. the folks who are their most die-hards.

There's an episode of Frasier where he has a Halloween party where everyone is supposed to come dressed as their hero. And Frasier has developed a game around the evening where everyone is supposed to answer a series of questions as their hero - a psychological experiment. At one point, no one wants to play the game anymore, and Frasier says something to the tune of "well if we're not playing the game then we're just people standing around in random costumes - it's anarchy!" 

The reason we are here is because of the band. If the band isn't here, isn't involved, isn't a part of this process, then we're just a group of people who like U2 and, frankly, we can chat about that connection anywhere we want. We don't have to pay this place to do it. For the gift? Why? Most die-hard fans who would be willing to pay the annual fee already have these songs. For the tickets? Why? If you're a citicard member you can get more than you can as a U2 fan (and in my case, ticket prices were so high I'm actually not seeing them for the first time ever).

I'm not suggesting a rebellion against U2 or anything like that. We hold them to a certain standard. That's why we're here. It is on them to meet it. Not Live Nation. It's U2's name on the door.

I have a very, VERY small fan base. I have no idea what it's like to be huge like U2, and never will. But I talk to that fan base ALL the time. I HAVE to know what they want, what they are looking for, what they expect. I can't meet all the needs and expectations of even this small group. I get that. But I'm always, PERSONALLY, involved. And one way or another (I know this is easy to say NOW) I will find a way to always be. It's smart marketing and smart business sense. No, I'm not going to make a screamo album if even enough of my fan base requests it. It's not me. And they know that so they wouldn't ask it anyway. That's not what they would expect of me.

But within the boundaries of why they like me in the first place, hecks yeah I'm going to do everything I can to make sure they're satisfied.

U2, and LiveNation, can't please everyone in this membership community. I wouldn't expect them to. I don't think hardly anyone would. And while I don't agree that everyone is entitled to getting a gift they like (that's an unreasonable expectation in a group this disparate), I DO agree that we are entitled - by way of having paid the membership - to know more about how this relationship with LiveNation works, how the gifts are determined and, finally, settled on, and why the opinions of fans who are getting these gifts don't matter. I also do believe that smart work and research - working closely with the mods as a middle ground for instance - would allow U2 and LiveNation to have a real pulse on this community and be able to give them something they largely like. That doesn't take much work.

If nothing else - and by the way I'm in the pro-vinyl camp - I don't understand why, if they are going to release music as a gift, apart from releasing music we kind of already have, they don't give the option to deliver that music in more than one collectible format - ie: vinyl AND CD. 

I'm not a fan of coming to a party where the host never shows up.

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@Ender

Obviously, I like the way you think...and write. :) (I was the one asking how the gifts are decided and by whom, btw - but I'm sure there were others too.)

I know I probably annoyed some by writing in such an impassioned fashion about what I thought - I was sitting on many of those thoughts for several years now. The current state of affairs was the metaphorical "straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back" - problems don't get fixed unless grievances are aired in a timely fashion.

I would like it to be part of our account info page, i.e., a question is asked during the renewal process, "If the U2.com gift is music in any given year, in what format would you like it? A - vinyl, B - CD (or lossless/WAV download), or C - mp3?" It would save the site money too because to make and mail vinyl to everyone even when many don't want it is just wasting money - vinyl is expensive to make and to ship, much more so than CDs/downloads. I just don't know why this would be too difficult to execute.

You made great points - thank you for all of your posts.

 

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On 4/11/2018 at 4:59 PM, doctornickriviera said:

I think it must be really hard for the mods to explain and defend U2 and their managements decisions re tour presale arrangements, ticket pricing, ‘gifts’ failure to deliver said gifts until halfway through the following calendar year., and also clearly not listening to the opinions of their fan base.

i really don’t know how they do it. 

Well, it's not really the Mods' task to do any of the things you listed, is it?

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On 4/13/2018 at 4:34 PM, Ender said:

If they do a 30th Anniversary box set of Rattle and Hum (which I admit I'll buy just to have it) when they didn't do POP last year, I'll riot.

Yes - it was curious that there was no specific commemoration for POP. As much as many people like it, it never gets the due is deserves.

"Zooropa" indirectly got one on the deluxe boxsets for AB, although I hope they do an expanded version for it as well. At least the POP fans who like vinyl will finally have it in that format.

 

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Count me as another person who is very disappointed with the gift. I have no use for vinyl. The last two sets have been given to a friend who loves U2 and does love vinyl. He loved it. In exchanged, I didn't even get WAV or Lossless? That is crazy. 

The bigger problem is the actual content. 2 lousy remixes and a decent remix of Desire I already have? Rattle & Hum remixes? I might actually be less interested in this than Duals. 

This is making me really upset that I never got the Rarities gift. Somehow managed to miss that one because my subscription date was November at that time. Had a weird overlap with trailing and future gifts. Sigh.

This has turned into a very disappointing U2 year for me. I actually managed to get a ticket to the tour, then I had to sell it because I got booked for a gig of my own in a different city that same night. Can't see the tour, subscriber gift is pointless.....Starting to ponder maybe not resubscribing.

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