At a macro level, digital does two things to media:
- It destroys scarcity (and with it, pricing power, but that’s a separate discussion); and
- It creates abundance, which then breeds more abundance.
Every new digital asset created and posted online — a picture, a sound, a video — is now not only a completed product but is also a mashable ingredient. That means CPG brand assets, too: the commercial you labored over, the package you tweaked until it was just right: everything.
The world has just reminded been reminded of this in a compelling way by the Israeli musician Kutiman. As Mashable describes:
“Kutiman has taken YouTube samples – often non-musical ones – and turned them into an album that’s awesome on so many levels that it leaves you stunned. (…) it’s amazing to see all those unrelated YouTube bits and pieces fit together so perfectly. Kutiman, whose self-titled debut received high praise from sites such as Pitchfork Magazine, proves that any sound can be music if you know what to do with it.
It’s impossible to really imagine how this can work until you see one of the videos:
The Beatles are an ingredient. Jay-Z is an ingredient. Interestingly, Jay-Z not only knows this — he embraces it: lately he’s been releasing CDs with acapella vocals only. It’s all ready to mash.
Superman is an ingredient. “Friends” is an ingredient. Everything’s an ingredient.
Even two commercials can be an ingredient to create a third.
Of course, not every brand likes to be poked. Or tweaked. Or remixed. But it’s the new reality.
Everything is an ingredient. What sort of ingredient do you want to be?