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Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Week For U2? In Music 3.0 It Is.

Nielsen SoundScan reports that U2's new album "No Line On The Horizon" sold 484,000 copies last week, yet the press seems to view this amount as a disappointment. Consider that the next closest album (Taylor Swift's "Fearless") sold only 52,000 and the U2 release looks better all the time.

But what they're not telling you is that on-line research company Big Champagne estimates that another 431,000 copies were illegally downloaded in the same period. Put both figures together and the reach of the album looks pretty good, especially for these economic times.

In my upcoming book "Music 3.0 - A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age" I outline the new thinking regarding music releases, and in this case, the basic concept goes something like this. You release the album to sell the tour, not the other way around like in the old days.

U2 is truly following the tenants of M30 perfectly, but it's probably too early to predict how successful their tour will be. As with everything else, the economy has the ultimate say in their success.

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