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Hello Goodbye: McCartney cancels website premium membership

Hello Goodbye / Paul McCartney cancels premium membership on his websitePaul McCartney fans, who less than a year ago paid close to £40 for premium membership of his website, have today been emailed and told that changes have been made to paulmccartney.com and that “Premium Membership, will not feature in the new site”.

To thank the people who signed up for premium membership, the PM.com team are putting together a “package of goodies” that will include a free download of Paul’s forthcoming film, Live Kisses.

This is rather bizarre, and seems to bring to an end a premium membership scheme that promised much at the beginning, but actually delivered very little. People who signed up, late last year, originally received a membership card, a lithograph, a T-shirt, some small badges, a plectrum and a free download of an Paul McCartney album that, by definition, virtually every fan wanting premium membership would already have owned.

The card carrying members were then disappointed when the RAM reissue happened in May (amazingly, the one and only archive collection reissue in the 11 months the membership has been active) when nothing exclusive was offered to them. However, if you weren’t a premium member you did get a nice bonus – a free ‘digital’ version of the membership given away with the deluxe ‘book’ version of RAM. You are reading that correctly. Paying members got nothing extra, and non-members got free membership.

Given the depth of Paul’s archive – McCartney’s manager Scott Rodger refers to it in this interview – it seems ridiculous that not one single audio track from the archive was ever offered to paying premium members. Especially when you consider the slow rate of progress with the archive reissues.

Even when it’s time to say goodbye, Paul McCartney’s team are seemingly completely oblivious to what the hardcore fans really want. Rather than promoting the latest project – Live Kisses? no thanks! – why not give us premium members what we were expecting during the last year in the first place – high quality downloads (FLAC) of unreleased outtakes from his classic albums, such as RAM, Band On The Run, or McCartney?

Now that would be something.


Are you a premium member? Tell your views on the membership and your thoughts now that it is now being scrapped?

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13 responses to Hello Goodbye: McCartney cancels website premium membership

  1. Ethan says:

    There’s a big factual error in this piece. The premium memberships began almost TWO years ago. And that’s when most people signed up. So most of the premium members have gotten two full years of membership — for the original $50. Of course there are exceptions.

    But why on earth are you arguing in favor of “premium” — benefiting the “haves” over the “havenots” — when Paul has opted for a site that is FREE and open to everyone. And he’s promised “goodies” for the premium members. Why not wait to see what those are, before moaning and complaining?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      You are wrong – Premium Membership started with the new website which was launched just under a year ago.

      I’m not arguing in favour of premium – I’m simply pointing out that the premium membership didn’t deliver what it promised.

      We were promised ‘goodies’ a year ago – please tell me what goodies were delivered in that year.

      • Ethan says:

        I just checked my email and you’re right. It was launched in November 2011. Not sure why I thought it was earlier than that.

        At any rate, the site offered premium content throughout the year, and you could listen on the Jukebox to all of Paul’s music whenever you wanted. Whether you liked the premium content that was offered is another matter. Unfortunately, the customers don’t get to dictate what goodies we are offered.

        All people did was complain about the premium membership. They wanted MORE, they wanted early access to the best seats, they didn’t like this, they didn’t like that. Plus, anyone familiar with Web sites knows it’s much easier to just go with a cheap commenting system like Discus than to try and run it inhouse. I’m sure it was nothing but a pain for MPL. That’s why pretty much every site ends up going with Discus or Facebook for commenting. Why re-invent the wheel?

        I don’t feel ripped off. I wish the premium experiment had offered more but membership cost me 13 cents a day for the past year. I like my T-shirt and I liked the premium videos and pictures I did see. But I’m glad the site is going to be free and open to everyone.

  2. PK says:

    In addition, the t-shirt design was sorta lame and my “litho” arrived bent. All in all, I was not very impressed.

    • Bill Cannon says:

      The litograph, “card” that is now worthless, were nice, the T Shirt, eh! I am not trying to whine, but the $40 for the premium was OK, the $98 for RAM -then offered what I paid $40 for sort of ticked me off. Then I am offered KISSES live? KISSES is for me a waste of time-I own the CD, I could not get through CD-it put me to sleep. Now I get to see if I can stay awake while watching Paul sing it live? Hope I am wrong-I appreciate their offer, I think I would prefer a $20 coupon for one of the deluxe offerings in the future. Bill

  3. Tom Gardner says:

    I have the card from the Ram box set entitling me to a free digital membership which is no longer available. I wonder if I should ask Topspin for a refund?

  4. Peter says:

    I have two download vouchers for the hi res content in the McCARTNEY 2 and RAM deluxe editions which I now can’t redeem. The Ram set came out in May. There was no date specified by which the downloads should be redeemed by. I feel thoroughly ripped off and I will not be buying anything McCartney related in the future if this how he conducts himself. I have been waiting to find a mechanism to burn the tracks to DVD A from my mac and to say I am peed off is an understatement. These sets are still on sale with these vouchers which are now useless. This is false advertising and I will be getting onto the advertising standards people in Ireland.

    • Steve (Louisville, KY, USA) says:

      E-mail Topspin about the downloads. This has nothing to do with the McCartney website’s premium membership.

      For what it’s worth, I just redeemed my “McCartney” download card from that deluxe set last week after getting support from Topspin (I had downloaded it once, lost the computer it was on, they allowed me to download it a second time with the same code).

      For the topic at hand, I was not a “premium subscriber” because it did not appear to offer anything worthwhile of value, and apparently it wasn’t worth it on their end to continue it after the first year. For $50, fans got a t-shirt, a lithograph, unlimited streaming of his posted catalog, and now a download of his latest “film”. I’m glad I didn’t sign up, but I’m not sure why anybody thinks they got ripped off.

  5. Paul Soper says:

    I’ve posted the following on the McCartney forum and Facebook page. I wish I could get a response from McCartney or, more likely, a representative. After all, Gabriel was good enough to respond to criticisms regarding the So box.

    This whole situation is disgusting. Premium members should be refunded immediately.

    All we got for our money was a lousy T shirt, lithograph and guitar picks.

    And now we are being fobbed off by some sort of ‘goodie’ bag? Keep your free download of Live Kisses. We should be given free DVD/Blu Ray copies AT LEAST.

    Shame on you MPL. The biggest McCartney rip off to date.

  6. Ymaginatif says:

    It was value for money, if you compare it to similar sites etc. There were goodies, films (even a FULL concert film), pictures, features etc. Also: you paid for a year, and you got a year.
    Now it moves on, and it looks like it will offer similar features for free.
    Really no grounds for complaints I’d say!

  7. Atticusfinch says:

    Hello. Being a lifelong McCartney fan doesn’t quite feel the same. I purchased a premium membership less than three months ago and got absolutely nothing in the way of “t-shirts, lithographs, guitar picks, etc”. Now the site is defunct. This isn’t the class act that Paul McCartney has been, and I don’t think he needs my money that badly. However, he did take it and I trust he will do the right thing. A free download of “Kisses” isn’t going to make it.

  8. Mark Wardle says:

    Yep…totally and utterly disappointed – and have made my feeling clear on the official forum – especially when you consider what was mentioned on the HP video – this was how the new website was described before it went live:
    * “Make it totally unique”
    * “Unprecedented breadth and depth of content for Paul’s fans”
    * “What’s going to distinguish this from other major artists websites is that it’s going to be very content rich”
    * “The idea is to intrigue people and bring them into our World…all the stuff we can give that no-one else can give”
    * “We’re trying to push the boundaries in terms of the experience for the fans”
    *”Fan interaction, they tell you exactly what they need…you create projects to suit their needs”
    * “The new website is really going to be fascinating, a lot of ideas that won’t have been done before”
    * “The best piece is being innovative”

    I personally watched all the HP videos and, trusting Paul, spent my money on membership as I was genuinely excited about the website, so I do feel I have been cheated – I do not think it is unique, it does not have unprecedented breadth and depth of content, isn’t content rich, isn’t intriguing, hasn’t pushed the boundaries, hasn’t suited my needs, isn’t fascinating or innovative and the whole social interaction which they make a big thing of in the video has now gone along with my money, my trust and my faith. And a huge amount of respect..which can’t be compensated with a download…especially of the only project of Pauls that I haven’t been interested in.

    You’re right in the article – Paul has the most extensive archive of videos, audio, photos and the fans got barely any – not even the premium members of which I was one regrettably! Check the Bon Jovi site – yes, you pay a bit more – which I don’t mind – but the breadth of content is incredible and Paul’s archive must be 50 times bigger.

    A lot of fans are demanding a refund..and I can see why. However, I can’t see anything being done either..

    I’m just hoping to see more of the archive series..before I die!

  9. Pingback:Paul McCartney / Live In Los Angeles The Extended Set | superdeluxeedition

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