(From Nikkei Asian Review)
By Ken Moriyasu, Nikkei staff writer
When Japanese female idol group Team Syachihoko releases an album, fans have three options. If you buy one CD, you get to take a photo with the six-member group. If you buy two CDs, you get to take a “couple shot” with one member of the group, chosen at random. If you buy a whopping three, you get to choose the girl you want to take the couple shot with. Many fans buy 19 CDs to get the full package, a group shot plus one-on-one shots with all six members.
Welcome to the pop idol economy, a world detached from the turmoil of Greece or the roller-coaster ride of the Chinese stock market. Here, fans pour much of their disposable income into following and supporting the idols they adore. Read more