[dropcap]E[/dropcap]veryone knows that if the Internet were a nation, its main export would be cat memes. Cats have long been the unofficial mascot of the web, giving rise to things like Caturday, Nyan Cat, Grumpy Cat, Keyboard Cat and Longcat, just to name a few.
So when critically acclaimed rap duo Run The Jewels jokingly offered a $40,000 version of its album, completely remixed with nothing but cat noises, the internet responded in the only way it could–by Kickstarting the money needed to make the album and handing over the funds Run The Jewels.
In an era when social media votes, comments and donations make or break celebrities, Run The Jewels managed to be one of the early crossover acts of the new digital age. Fans voted with their wallets to get the group to create one of the weirdest concept albums I personally have ever listened to, because of a joke–and because it was cats.
Nothing is out of bounds these days. Audiences and consumers pay less attention to traditional entertainment models. Simply accepting what is in front of you as the best entertainment you can buy is no longer the norm. Consumers now expect brands and companies to take cues from them for what is good and what they’ll purchase, completely changing the supply-and-demand dynamic.
Part of this shift is also the fault of suppliers. For years now, the world of gaming has had to deal with supposed AAA blockbuster games that always ship broken or bugged to the point that they are unplayable on one platform or another. Gaming has become so mainstream that it dominates entertainment, out-earning the movie industry for a number of years now. When you have such a pervasive industry essentially shipping half-finished products and calling them complete, while using launch days and patches to finish the games on-the-fly, it creates an expectation of product commitment on the part of brands, turning suppliers reactionary and forcing them to keep up with consumers’ demands in order to form any kind of brand equity.