Connecting with artists, celebrities and influencers on social media has never been easier, but sometimes we crave a more personalised experience than you can get just from smashing the like button on a Facebook page. We know how insanely popular Kim Kardashian‘s app has been a pretty stellar success, offering free and premium content in an easily accessible and unique interface.
Obviously there’s a hunger for that kind of content from other people too – not just the Kardashians. Enter PressPlay, and startup led by Aussie Samuel Pearton which promises to make it easy for celebrities to create that kind of personalised content for fans to subscribe to. That idea has scored ’em $1.8 million in seed funding with a US$10 million valuation.
If you’re a fan of mid 2000s Aussie punk – and you surely were – you might remember Sam as the drummer for The Scare. Obviously their paths have diverged, but No Money is still a tune:
PressPlay have basketball superhuman Steph Curry on board – who is onboard based on the idea of connecting with the estimated 450 million basketball fans in China. It’s a huge market often ignored by artists looking for press.
“We’re building content-led apps for the world’s biggest celebrities,” Pearton told PEDESTRIAN.TV. “So basically we have a production team that captures content in lots of different ways – from Steph capturing content, to a videographer that follows him around 82 games a year, to livestreaming capabilities that are built in to the app.”
“It’s also a social tool for fans to be able to communicate about Steph and upload their own content.”
Pearton says PressPlay is an “emerging market focused company”, with a launch in China being the initial goal, before branching out into markets like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Indonesia – where there are audiences hungry for content who aren’t getting it through the regular channels we are accustomed to, like Facebook and Twitter.
“We’re really trying to close the gap between Steph Curry and [approximately] 600 million fans in Asia,” he continues. “The goal is him having the ability to communicate and monetise content in different creative ways.” Asian markets are pretty sophisticated and advanced when it comes to microtransactions and these kinds of platforms, meaning its the perfect way to cut through.
Pearton and PressPlay have scored $1.8 million in funding thus far, with their notable investor being Sing Tao News Corporation, a large Hong Kong based Chinese media group, which gives the company an inroad into the developing markets they’re interested in. “They’ve definitely been able to walk us into the right rooms, with the right media houses and brand partnerships for our talent.“
Though the focus right now is sports figures, there’s a future with celebrities and influencers working in other areas. “We look at how the current ecosystem of how people capture their content,” Pearton says. “It makes sense for us to look for people who have the time to capture content and create for our platform.”
“There’s definitely room for people who sit maybe more in a lifestyle or consumer angle.”
PressPlay is definitely one to watch.