- Photo: Cameo, Shutterstock
Digital platform Cameo allows fans now to directly interact with their stars.
It’s your friend’s birthday and they open up their messages to find a video recording from Enrique Arce, the actor who plays the bank manager in hit Netflix series “Money Heist”. Niche choice, but you knew they were a big fan. And it only cost you about 120 euros. All this and more is possible with Cameo, a digital platform proving anything can be hired in the gig economy – including celebrities. Allowing users to buy video greetings from famous people for their friends, it boomed during lockdown, as people struggled to connect meaningfully online.
The latest addition to the service was announced in September and is called Cameo Calls. It enables fans to have a one-on-one video chat with their favorite celebrities. A personal five minute chat “to talk about anything” with singer Aaron Carter plus “a snap photo together” was promoted on September 21st for 50 US Dollars.
The company was founded in Chicago in 2017 by Steven Galanis, then a LinkedIn executive in his late 20s. Galanis had organised parties at his university, Duke, and leveraged his immediate circle at first – c-list sportspeople and third-grade performers. But the caché of the app grew. It has boasted stars like Snoop Dogg – who as of writing is “no longer taking bookings”.
But you can also find a person like Donald Trump Junior, selling a shout-out for 599,99 euros. The platform has expanded to sell video messages for
company events – one with Enrique Arce costs about seven times more than his personal greeting. The app sells more than five thousand videos a day, and creams off 25% of fees into its own coffers. Some celebs donate all or some of the proceeds to charity. Cameo collected 100 millions US Dollars in a series C funding in spring 2021 making the company pushing its valuation north of one billion. Venture capital company Headline is the lead investor, skateboard legend Tony Hawks is also invested.