Will Japanese Virtual Performers Hurt the Music Industry?
I love the Japanese and all their innovations, but are their virtual music stars too much for the music industry? Their first virtual pop star was Hatsune Miku, who is actually a hologram that performs to screaming fans across the country in sold-out arenas. Even in the United States her concert in San Francisco was sold out last year and I for one wish I had been there.
A huge hit in Asia is a J-Pop band called AKB48 that actually has 61 female members. The 61 performers are divided into four groups and the remainders are called "the trainees". Each year the Japanese “superfans” vote on which member of the group is the most popular in a televised awards show. Could we have done that with The Osmonds here in America- and who would have won?
When the bottom girl on the singing pole Aimi Eguchi appeared in a candy commercial soon after joining AKB48, it suddenly raised a red flag with the fans. Usually only the most popular girls get to do commercials and Eguchi was still a “research student” on the singing team. Suddenly the fans started asking themselves questions and wondered if the wool was being pulled over their eyes.
In a Walt Disney moment, the management finally agreed that the fans were right. Eguchi was not a real girl and was much like Simone from the movie of the same name. She was actually a digital composite with facial features from the six other members’ faces in the group.
I then ask myself if this is why Britney Spears moves like a robot and lip- synchs to every song. Does Spears have the same 150 gigabytes of memory too; or is it less? Can we create a real Astro-Boy next please and what will Lady Gaga do with this new information?Continued on the next page