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S/mileage is Now Potentially 125% Larger August 15, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop.
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At last night’s Hello!Project concert the results of the S/mileage audition were announced and it was revealed that Nakanishi Kana, Kosuga Fuyuka, Takeuchi Akari, Katsuta Rina, and Tamura Meimi would be brought on as sub-members of the group.

Yeah, that’s right, they’re not actually real members yet.

Personally, I think this is a smart move. Let’s say that a few of these girls don’t really pan out. Maybe they’re not liked by the public, don’t have the talent, or maybe they just can’t keep up with the stress of the job; whatever really. Well now they can be dropped without too many strings attached. On the other hand, say if all the girls are well liked and perform well they can be kept just as easily. Brilliant, really.

I know quite a few people are pretty outraged by the fact that S/mileage now has a second generation, but I can’t say it really bothers me. Business wise it makes sense, though. An idol is essentially a brand and it takes time, effort and money to make a brand recognized. Groups like Berryz Kobo and C-ute are only good until they’re members age, whereas Morning Musume can stay young forever through their cyclic membership. Throwing S/mileage into the category of a “cyclic” group will undoubtedly allow the group to stick around longer, and thus bring in more revenue over a longer period of time.

I must say I am rather surprised by the sheer number of people added. Like I mentioned in the title, five members is a 125% increase in group size. Wow. To put that in perspective, if Morning Musume’s 10th gen was the same size proportionally it would be 11 members!

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