Cameo: how the new celebrity video market works

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.

The platform that allows fans to pay for private video messages of their favourite celebrities is becoming increasingly popular.

Cameo special: how the new celebrity video market works

A celebrity just for us, ready to send us a video message of any personalized kind, to show off with friends and on social networks. This is the magic formula behind Cameo, the service of buying and selling personalized messages that puts users in touch with their darlings from the world of sports, entertainment and the internet. The platform, for some time, now a more than consolidated reality in the United States, is making a lot of talk about itself, ready to represent a new and interesting frontier in the world of the web, for a business model perfectly suited to the whole world “appearance and influencer “that we created.

Attention to the stars

In Italy the service has recently jumped to the headlines thanks to a video that quickly became viral, the one in which Dennis Rodman, the famous and eccentric former NBA star, sent a nice message to Italian Spal footballer Andrea Petagna. The video, passionate and full of praise, was released on the player’s social networks and quickly became viral. Many immediately wondered about the relationship between the two, even more, those who wondered what a world sports star could have in common with a footballer known only within national borders. An arcane who soon discovered to be tied to Cameo and a surprise gift from Petagna’s friends. Using Cameo, in fact, they paid Rodman to send the message, giving him the directions to build his video, then spread on social networks once made public. From here the Pandora’s box of this popular app was also discovered in Italy, the new business frontier in fast and constant growth.

How Cameo works

The operation of the service is quite simple and immediate. Once you register for the app for free, available on iOS and Android, you have access to one boundless catalogue of over 30,000 VIPs, divided by category. There is really something for all tastes: actors, sportsmen, singers, influencers, all selectable with a series of rather precise filters, all divided by a specific tariff that becomes saltier and saltier depending on the selected celebrity. Once you have made your choice, you can decide whether to record a personalized video for yourself or make a gift to a friend, choose for which occasion to make the request, perhaps an important date or birthday, and enrich everything with specific requests on the content that the movie must-have.

Completed the request and paid the fee it will take 7 days for everything to be published. Cameo undertakes to ensure that the “transaction” is resolved in a week: if this does not happen and the VIP cannot register, the sum paid is in any case returned. The ready video, however, will be sent via a link to the email or phone indicated, where it can be viewed and downloaded to be freely shared on its social channels. Each VIP will have user reviews and comments on his dedicated page in order to make others understand what to expect from the message they will receive.

Shopping list

The list of VIPs is long and for all tastes, the numbers to be shelled out are varied and almost never cheap. Having a message from Caitlyn Jenner, for example, will require $ 2,500 in spending, while they will need “only” 288 for a message from Tom Felton, the Draco Malfoy of the saga of Harry Potter. Similar figures also for Sean Astin, the Sam of the Lord of the Rings and even lower for two television stars of the 90s: to have a message from Scott Patterson, the Luke de A mom for a friend, it costs $ 150, which become 200 for James Van Der Beek, the protagonist of Dawson’s Creek.

For the world of music, there is also space for Snoop Dogg, while among the sportsmen worth mentioning is Pau Gasol, an award-winning Spanish basketball player, and two knowledge of Italian football as Giuseppe Rossi or Douglas Costa. The list of influencers or celebrities of Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok or of the web in general, well capable of attracting the attention of many young and young people, is also well-nourished.

Exponential growth

Since its creation in 2016, the site has experienced growing success, which has increased even more exponentially during the recent pandemic, a period in which we have all been in front of our electronic devices and celebrities have discovered new ways to be paid with minimal effort. In fact, in the month of April alone, Cameo posted more 70 thousand requests for video messages for a business that is destined to grow and add new and interesting features. One of the latest options implemented allows you to book real video calls on Zoom with their favourite celebrities. Ten minutes when fans can ask their questions privately.

All with the possibility of hosting up to four friends but at higher prices than the basic ones. A video call with the singer of Nsync Lance Bass it costs $ 1,250, which goes up to over 15,000 to talk to the Entourage actor Jeremy Piven. A new profit frontier, much more profitable than a simple video message, but much more exclusive and capable of triggering, even if only for a short time, a direct dialogue.

Greetings and advertising

But Cameo’s growth margins don’t seem to have ended there. On the video call front, one is under development subscription for $ 5 a month which allows you to have exclusive direct videos together with a group of fans with carefully selected stars. Hence the possibility of dividing the types of videos into two categories, according to requirements. The first, which we have discussed so far, is the one related to the private sphere, with requests for messages to show off on social media. The second one is closer to an indirect sponsorship: Cameo is paid to have the celebrity make a video to advertise a company or product.

A sort of mini spot that can be used for three months on the social channels of your business. The emergence of similar services is a direct consequence of this success. CelebVM and Starsona they offer the same basic philosophy as the competitor while charity buzz has declined the concept of charity auctions online with that of video calls between VIPs and fans. Under normal conditions, following a charitable donation you could win a private meeting with a celebrity, turned during the Coronavirus lockdown into a video call.

The Italian situation

In Italy the phenomenon is still quite limited, but increasingly on everyone’s lips and ready for an increasingly probable explosion. On Cameo, the Italian stars are reduced to a minimum, while some platforms with the same basic philosophy have also been born here. WishRaiser it works very similar to that of CharityBuzz: with a donation, you can win a meeting with a star or a celebrity. One of the most popular prizes is a lunch/meeting with Carlo Cracco at his Milanese restaurant.
CharityStarsinstead, it is much more similar to Cameo and allows you to give personalized video messages from some celebrities, including Gianluca Zambrotta or Flavia Pennetta. A business still to be discovered but that will not take long to explode also with us, perhaps with an Italian version of the same Cameo or with the release of one or more similar services. The basic concept seems to work perfectly, leveraging and monetizing the charm that hovers around celebrities, characters that you have always wanted to have close to or touch with your hand, in an illusory direct contact with your own unapproachable myth.

A surrogate or, if we want, an evolution of what until recently were simple autographs or photos but which, in times of social and smartphones, have turned into selfies first and real videos then. Slyly it was decided to make money on all this, creating a market of sale where it did not exist before: just pay to make your dreams possible, to give the illusion of a contact or a relationship that, concretely, will not exist and will exist never. A brilliant idea from a purely economic point of view but vaguely distorted by the more purely human and sentimental one. Just pay to have access to your dream, it does not matter if this is bound by a cold economic exchange, where the higher the sum to be paid, the more the dream becomes prohibitive and, therefore, more desirable. We always thought that certain wishes could not be given any price but apparently we were very wrong.