U2 Fan Club Gifts Survey: The Results

Original Story by Harry Kantas (2018-09-16)

The U2.com membership comes with some very good perks, like exclusive content, exclusive downloads, contests, members-only space on Zootopia, pre-sale codes for when there is a tour, a voucher for the U2 shop, and last but not least, a subscribers only gift. Next year’s gift should be announced in a couple of months. Last Monday, September 10th, we asked about your thoughts and ideas regarding the upcoming U2 Fan Club Gift.

We let the survey run for around 5 days, and got responses from a healthy sample (considering the survey’s short duration, and that the tour is currently on) of 1071 U2ers.

These are the results we got:

The vast majority of fans (76%) would prefer the new gift to be music (audio or video). 52.7% of you would like audio in a physical format, showing a slight preference to vinyl (27.5%). 9.9% of you asked for a printed release, whether that’s a book, a fanzine, or something along those lines. 7.5% contemplated some sort of artwork release. 6.6% presented their own ideas. The main ideas discussed here some form of music again, and a smaller percentage made a case for fan club only clothing (t-shirts, hoodies, etc).

Paradoxically, even though more of you appear to have a working CD player, compared to a record player, which only 6 out of 10 seem to have, the demand for CD and Vinyl is pretty even. If anything, that shows an appreciation for vinyl, not just as a music medium, but also a collector’s piece. However, a number of responses asking for “no more vinyl” were posted on replies to our social media posts about the survey, likely brought on by the fact that over 40% of those responding do not own a record player.

In terms of digital formats, votes show no real preference to lossless vs lossy formats, but favour any format that can easily be played on a phone, or other media device.

The main 4 selections for audio are:

1) A recording from the current tour (either a full show, or a mix of songs from different shows)
2) A recording from a recent promo gig (The Roxy, The Apollo, The BBC)
3) A recording from an older tour (be it Lovetown, The Unforgettable Fire, or something previously unreleased)
4) Rarities (Alternate versions of older and newer songs, demo versions from the current album)

From those of you who presented you own ideas, the general consensus was around previously unreleased recordings of songs (demos, b-sides, outtakes) that have never left the U2 vault.

A book about the band a-la North Side Story would not be out of the question for many of you, nor would a fanzine (Propaganda reboot perhaps?), or even a cardboard cutout of 10 Cedarwood Road (like the one Bono brings out during 13).

From the “Other” suggestions, of note were:

  • A follow-up to a “Stories behind the Songs” type of publication
  • A follow-up to “Stealing Hearts at a Travelling Show” with deleted artwork, covers, working titles, etc.
  • A book of song sketches and notes used by the band, that illustrates their creative process.

Also a popular opinion, was, well, “None”, and that’s because people would prefer music to a book or a magazine.

Lithographs were the main choice on this one. Cards or pins/badges featuring artwork or lyrics would also be a welcomed addition for some. From the “Other” section here, ideas thrown around include original artwork by Bono, and a complete set of all the artwork Edel Rodriguez has produced for the tour, as it has become a fan favourite very quickly.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate in this survey, we really appreciate it. Perhaps it can serve as feedback, or just a place to gather your ideas. In any case, we hope you had fun doing it!

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