U2 web chat scores 50,000-plus visitors

5 Nov 2002

Ireland’s top rock and pop export U2 had a cyber-themed launch of its new Best Of 1990-2000 album with band members dispersed across two continents speaking to some 50,000 fans over a web chat last night at 8pm.

As part of a collaboration between Dublin-based multimedia company Digital CC and MSN the band spoke about the launch of their new album, among other things, throughout an hour and a half long interview with fans. Three of the band members were in New York, whilst bass player Adam Clayton joined the web chat from India.

The web chat was handled via Digital CC’s Dublin office across MSN servers. Adam Clayton’s brother Sebastian, who runs Digital CC, explained: “Although the band members were in four separate locations, the web chat ran very smoothly. Adam’s location in India posed a few problems at the start but we got it sorted out. We don’t have the complete stats for the web chat right now, but I can say that definitely more than 50,000 people were listening in simultaneously.

“Instead of doing the web chat through a typed media, we set it up more like a conference call across an audio web cast using Windows Media, with the band members responding to questions that fans emailed to U2.com, MSN a week earlier,” Clayton said. The interview on the web cast was conducted by BBC One’s Jo Whiley.

“We did the web cast to coincide with the album’s launch in Europe yesterday, and while there was no video of the web chat broadcast, we supplemented the chat with visuals from the album’s artwork,” Clayton explained.

Established in 1997, Digital CC is responsible for the design and running of U2’s flagship website, U2.com, and the company has managed numerous other projects for major brands, including MediaLab Europe, Sony PlayStation, Sound Republic, Smirnoff, Edelman Worldwide PR and Universal Records.

Clayton concluded by saying that there will be a full transcript of the web chat published on MSN and U2.com next week.

By John Kennedy