When Apple took its first public adventure into virtual reality, the company needed a subject that represented the bright, infinite possibilities of this new medium. WHAT? NO! Not U2! Not again!
Remember that U2 iTunes disaster last year? Apple put the new U2 record nobody wanted on everyone's computer and everyone did not see this as a generous gift. Instead, everyone was confused. Why do I have this U2? Wait, I didn't PAY for this U2 did I? Bono and Apple both had to apologise to millions upon millions of people. Apparently, nobody learned anything from the fiasco because now Apple is using virtual reality to cram U2's music down our throats.
As Wired reports, the U2-themed experience was created to promote Apple Music in partnership with the VR startup Vrse. The 360 music video was originally shown to fans on Oculus Rift headgear on a double-decker bus outside a U2 show in London last weekend. If you missed that exclusive opportunity, you can download the Vrse app (iOS/Android) right now and watch the thing.
The 360 video opens with an Apple Music logo — just so we're totally clear who ponied up the money for all of this. Fade to the The Edge playing an acoustic guitar off to your right.
Moments later, Bono appears in front of you. Then the rest of the band fills in to your left and behind you. As the video progresses, you're transported all over the world to scenes of different people singing and playing along with the band. Throughout the music video, you can look around and see different stuff.
It's actually very well-produced video (directed by Chris Milk), but there's a problem. It's been at least 15 years since U2 did anything remotely cool, and yet, Apple doesn't seem to get that the last time U2 was relevant was around the time the iPod was unveiled by Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs has been dead four years, and U2 is about as interesting as Murder She Wrote. Apple seems to think U2 is really the coolest, and keeps casting its lot with the ageing Irish rockers.
It's not that U2 sucks, it's that the youths do not get U2. U2 is memories. In fairness, U2 is not strictly bad memories. U2 reminds me of some good records from a time when I was barely alive. Some of those great records — War and October — were even made shortly before my lifetime. Do you know what U2 doesn't make me think of? The future. U2 is not the future.
Last week, Apple illustrated a much more sensible music partnership when it released the video for Drake's "Hotline Bling" for one week exclusively through Apple Music. The internet was blogging like hell about that.