In a wide ranging interview with Rolling Stone, Bono shared his perspectives on the modern music industry. For a man that can afford to never sing another note in his life, the U2 frontman showed a surprising grasp of the limitations and opportunities presented to all musicians by streaming and the direct to fan era.
Bono On Chance The Rapper & Going DIY
"If you are a teenager and you are listening to whatever the pop act is, you're probably listening to them 100 times a day. It's a teenage crush, but in a year's time you won't care about that. But artists that have a connection with you and your life, you pay for the subscription service. In fact, we are going to witness a revolution in the way artists and their fans interact. Chance the Rapper, who has a beautiful soul and a mind to match it, has no record label. He is doing it himself, and he is successful..."
On Record Labels
"...if your music is on Apple or on Spotify, you can speak straight to people. What you need from record labels is advice and, you know, help with how you manage your band or brand or the artwork and the videos and all of that."
On Spotify Payouts
"I knew Spotify would come through for people, but a lot of my friends were angry for believing me because they said, "We are just getting micropayments." I said things were going to change once this gets to scale, and it is going to take a while. It is going to be unpleasant; not a good time to be Cole Porter right now..."
"As it gets to scale . . . if the record labels don't share out what they're receiving from Spotify, artists will bypass the record labels and go straight to Spotify or Apple."
On How Streaming Has Changed U2's Songwriter
"We're back to the Fifties now, where the focus is on songs rather than albums. U2 make albums, so how do we survive? By making the songs better. And having, I hope, the humility to accept that we need to rediscover songwriting."\
Read the full Rolling Stone interview here.