The Cash Cow Effect?
Lately I’ve been going back and giving anime music more of a listen.
Oh, wait. I’m sorry, did I just say anime music? I meant the moo-sic of anime and video-game cash cows. I’m talking Digimon, Sakura Taisen, Pokemon, Prince of Tennis, ONE PIECE. You can slip Final Fantasy in there too, if you so like.
Surprisingly, though, music associated with these brands have a tendency to turn out decent. I’m not talking any anime-associated releases, just the ones who are meant to wring out all the money they can from you like a certain avex-produced dual-gendered dance-pop group. The ones with all the bonus merchandising like gachapon figurines and toys that really have no use as far as you’re concerned except as collectibles. The ones that continue going on for at least a year or two, refusing to die even after you’re tired of it.
Rather than pumping out the stereotypical techno-infused upbeat pop or a bland ballad, the cash cows delve into every genre they can. Sure, on one hand, it’s a typical pop album that tries to be too much and falls flat too soon. On the other hand, it’s got the ability to appeal to listeners of various styles.
It’s funny, because when cash cow marketing methods are applied to an artist, the quality of their works decrease, often to the point where when they put out a song that you do like, you leap on it with as much as hope as possible. But in the case of anime and games, the quality of the associated music increases, even if you don’t quite think the actual product has improved. Is it because they’re expected to earn more money, thus allowing producers to hire better songwriters? Or is the standard lowered for them because the commercial focus is elsewhere?
Just a thought that I’ll probably expand on at some point.
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