The fifth and final set of results from the 2012 U2 Fan Survey is now available, and this set of replies reveals -- among other things -- that U2 fans are not as happy with the band now as they were two years ago.
This was the fifth time we surveyed U2 fans around the world, and the first since 2010. The survey was open from April 5th through April 30th of this year. We received completed responses from 3,530 fans in 79 countries, both of which are down from 2010. We think that's likely due to the band being in down-time right now, meaning less traffic to @U2 and fewer fans being aware of the survey.
Here are a few thoughts on this latest batch of results:
The Edge is still U2's most indispensable member. As in previous surveys, U2 fans say that The Edge is the most important member in U2. We ask four separate questions about whether U2 should continue if each band member were to leave. This year, more than 96 percent said No, U2 should not continue if Edge leaves. That's a little more than the 95.5 percent who said U2 should stop if Bono leaves, and much more than the percent who think U2 should call it a day if Larry (90 percent) or Adam (87 percent) were to leave.
Spider-Man is mostly a hit. Although only about seven percent of survey takers have seen Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, more than 70 percent of that group said they liked it or loved it.
Uncertainty over U2's direction. We asked if fans agree with Bono's assessment that U2 should make radio-friendly music to stay relevant. Only 26 percent agreed with Bono outright, but the rest of the vote was almost split evenly between those who disagree (38 percent) and those who aren't sure (36 percent).
Bring on the Danger Mouse album. Of the three album projects that U2 has supposedly been working on, the Danger Mouse rock album is the one most fans want to hear first. It got 58 percent of the vote compared to 36 percent for Songs Of Ascent. Only six percent want to hear the club/dance record first.
Next U2 album? Next year. More than 65 percent of survey takers say they expect U2 to release its next studio album in 2013. Even 2014 got more votes than 2012 (18 percent to 15 percent).
U2 fans are mostly happy with U2, but a little less than we were. Our last question asks fans to indicate, on a 1-10 scale, how happy they are with U2. Again this year, "10" was the most popular option, but only 25 percent voted "10," down from 27 percent in 2010. And the overall score this year, 7.878, is also down from 2010, when it was 8.195.
To see the full set of replies, visit our U2 Fan Survey page. Thanks to fans around the world who answered this year's questions. We'll be back again next year, or more likely in 2014, with the next edition of our worldwide fan survey.