Following LPU XIII's launch yesterday, there have been several changes in how the LP Underground works! The team has been hard at work over the past year to redefine how the community works and how you are engaged with the LPU. I wanted to run through a few of the changes for everyone.
First of all, one of the goals with LPU XIII was to make your LP Underground membership as customizable as possible. To become an LPU member now, it is simply just $20 with the digital subscription. That means you can join a thriving community for an amount that is less than and worth much more "value" than other big name artists. With this membership, you can still enter to get a Meet & Greet pass, view LPUTV/LPTV episodes and download them, and get access to pre-sale tickets. The online aspect and M&G aspect doesn't change and is now even more affordable than it was before at only $20/year.
With the different package options, LPU is allowing you to "pick and choose" what you want. If you want to just be an online only member and enter to receive a M&G when you are able to see Linkin Park, then that is available to you. If you want to receive a merch bundle, you can add that to your membership. If you don't want the merch and want to enter the shows early with a laminate/lanyard, then you are also able to add that to your membership. With the "ALL IN ONE + CD" package, there is a $13 discount available, making it only $57. For shipping questions.... Shipping is being addressed for international members today since there was a glitch! For USA members, shipping is very affordable in LPU XIII.
The merch in LPU XIII is of great quality...the soccer jersey, which has been in the vision of the LPU team for a long time, is now finally available and better yet, it is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Along with Music For Relief and their other endeavors, this shows Linkin Park's commitment to and interest in environmental sustainability. Dika Toolkit, a popular figure in the online community, has designed all of the artwork for LPU XIII, including the new poster. The CD disc and booklet are completely designed with Dika's artwork as well.
The PlugAir is one of the newest items to be introduced to the LPU. The idea is that exclusive content can be "pushed" to LPU members "through the cloud" so that they are able to access cool stuff right from their phones. Hypothetically (I'm just guessing at the possibilities), perhaps Mike wants to give an update from the studio - he is able to do it instantly and have it sent right to peoples' phones via PlugAir. Or if the band wants to show a picture or two from the studio, that's all possible with the PlugAir. And it's just for LPU members.
The big questions here is "Why are Summits no longer included in the LPU package?" The reason that they are no longer included is because with Summits (depending on the city and venue), only a VERY small fraction of LPU members were able to take advantage of the Summits. Everyone was paying for Summits when only a small amount of members could actually attend. At the same time, this is why the digital membership is now $20 instead of $25 and the lanyard/laminate ($5) can be purchased separately. At festivals (which a lot of international LPU members can only attend due to how the band tours), early entry for LPU is not allowed. Even at some select headlining shows like in New York last summer, the early entry is pointless since the venue is all seated.
The goal, like I said, is to make the LPU customizable for everyone. With no Summits coming up anytime soon since Linkin Park is in the studio, it would be pretty pointless to make everyone pay for an included Summit when there logically could even only be one or two from November 2013 to November 2014. With the band's touring not even set for 2014, it's impossible to know the Summit schedule now. This is why the Summit is not included in the LPU packages for LPU XIII. When Summits ARE announced in the future, they will be aimed to be affordable for the LPU fans that are able to go.
Hopefully this clears up any questions fans had on the new version of the LP Underground. The team wanted to give a very customizable experience to those fans worldwide since not everyone sees the band live and not everyone can attend a Summit!