U2’s big screen success

March 21st, 2024

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U2 at The Sphere // Illustration by Kate Walker

Thursday has arrived, FutureParty people. And today, we’d like to give a special ode to someone you’ve never heard of, Shigeichi Negishi, the inventor of karaoke, who passed away last week at 100 years old. Few people have simultaneously brought such joy and embarrassment to the world. So, the next time you’re out with friends, belt one out for the late Mr. Negishi.

In other news… U2 soars at The Sphere, social shopping is blowing up in the US, and Apollo wants a piece of Old Hollywood.

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March 21, 2024

Today we get into how YouTubers are leaving the platform, how young people (and your hosts) love Facebook Marketplace, and the new startup that's selling shares of popular songs.


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U2 turned The Sphere into a hit

The Future. U2’s residency centered around their album Achtung Baby hasn’t just become the talk of Las Vegas — it’s become a genuine success story for The Sphere at the Venetian venue. Considering the Sphere’s visual scope and Vegas’ long history with artist residencies, the one-of-a-kind venue may end up becoming the defining final act for aging rock stars tired of touring but still looking to put on a great show.

Top of the charts, visible from space
Over 40 dates, U2 may have cemented The Sphere’s success as a home for high-production value residencies.

  • During their first 17 shows, U2 sold over 281,000 tickets at the 18,000-seat venue, grossing over $109.8 million.

  • This vaulted the band to No. 12 on Bloomberg’s Pop Star Power Rankings, No. 4 on live gross ticket sales over the past 3 months, and No. 2 on ticket sales over the past 30 days.

That’s a great result for the Irish rock band… but the ultimate test of The Sphere’s longevity in capturing music lovers’ attention will be the numbers from upcoming residencies from Phish and Dead & Company (two bands famous for their devoted fanbases).

Still, The Sphere has other revenue streams to help. Most of its money doesn’t come from music. Half of its revenue came from screenings of Darren Aronofsky’s immersive film, Postcard from Earth, while another chunk came from advertising on the venue’s outer “exosphere.”

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Creator cart // Illustration by Kate Walker

Social shopping is becoming a bestseller in the US

The Future. After years of being successful in China, social shopping is finally catching on in the US, thanks to TikTok Shop, Shops on Instagram, and Facebook. As more brands get in on the action, the next era of influencers may be the modern version of the ole QVC pitchman.

Share and shop
A new survey from creator management platform Grin details how much Americans are engaging with ecommerce on social platforms.

  • 68% have bought products directly on social media apps, with 26% doing so more than once a week.

  • 76% said they’ve considered buying an app, subscription, or other software because of a recommendation from an influencer.

  • Over 50% say they plan on using social shopping tools for holiday gifts this year, with 20% saying they plan on buying them directly through apps.

The survey — which had a split of 70% Gen Zers and millennials and 30% Gen Xers and boomers — also found a generational divide between the apps they use. The former loves TikTok, while the latter is all-in on Facebook Shops.

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Today’s email was written by David Vendrell.
Edited by Boye Akolade. Copy edited by Kait Cunniff.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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