Tracking your favorite stars, paying for meet and greet sessions, or tracking them on social media are just a few of the things you may have done to get their attention.
With Authentic Celebrity Experiences (ACE), these steps for personalized interaction with celebrities are no longer necessary.
With ACE, users can get exclusive content directly from celebrities and influencers through short videos. The content requested can range from personalized messages to answering burning questions.
ACE co-founder and CEO, Dene Schonknecht, notes that it was "almost impossible" to have such personalized interactions with famous people before their platform was created.
“The idea behind ACE is to give famous people access (we want to say: everyone has heroes). Before ACE, you had to know someone or just be lucky to be in the right place at the right time, ”he said.
The ACE platform was launched in February of this year and became more popular during the breaker era when Singaporeans used their offerings to send messages to loved ones.
According to Dene, 80% of ACE videos were bought as gifts.
How to get a personalized message from a star
Some Singaporean stars on the ACE platform / Image Credit: ACE
Drag Queen Kumar, Constance Lau, the star of Crazy Rich Asians, and influencer Nicole Choo are just a few of the personalities on the platform that users can book for S $ 55, 62 and 69.
Influencers Xiaxue and 881 actress May Wan can be booked for a steep price of S $ 276 and S $ 413.
Booking these stars is easy – just enter the message you want the celebrity to say and wait for the message to be accepted and recorded.
Once the video is filmed and uploaded, payment is made and the video can be downloaded.
According to ACE, the talents set their own rate for a video on their platform. You can keep 75 percent of the booking fee while the company keeps 25 percent.
Although no specific numbers were released, Dene Vulcan Post said bookings on the platform increased 500 percent in July.
He added that there are two “appealing” reasons for a talent to come on board ACE.
Making a video on ACE is the “easiest money” you can make in a day. When we calculate what each talent earns in a few minutes per video, it is the "minute with the highest value of their time per earnings".
In addition, ACE's concept enables talents to be “paid to become better known”. When a talent creates a video for a fan, it extends its reach because enthusiastic fans inevitably share the video on social media platforms.
Rapid expansion across Southeast Asia
According to Dene, ACE is the largest platform of its kind in Southeast Asia in terms of “reach and diversity of talent”.
When ACE launched in mid-February of this year, the platform had only 15 talents to choose from, mostly from Singapore.
In just over five months, the number of talents on the platform has increased tenfold.
The company currently commits an average of 15 to 20 new talent a week, which "exponentially accelerates" from the first three to five a week when it started.
In addition to Singaporean talents, ACE now has 150 talents from six different countries, including Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, and is now expanding talents from Indonesia.
ACE talents from Southeast Asia / Photo credit: ACE via Facebook
Dene said that the company's rapid expansion in Southeast Asia is due to the "unfair advantages" it has in various areas.
One of the co-founders of the startup is an "experienced TV producer who has been doing shows in Asia for 20 years" so that the company can quickly reach the right talent and the right management.
The startup also has consultants and investors from the entertainment industry who can offer talent partnerships that are "difficult for others to replicate".
More recently, ACE has managed to attract some TV stars from a popular Netflix show that will be seen live on the platform over the next two weeks.
There is a "global demand" for such videos
Co-founder and CEO of ACE, Dene Schonknecht / Photo credit: ACE
Most people rightly think that Dene is the “technician”. The founder of the startup has worked in technology companies such as Microsoft and Adobe for 20 years.
However, his experience extends to the media and entertainment industry around the world. The BBC was Dens client when he lived in London, and he had also spent time in the Los Angeles film industry and in a media agency in Singapore.
He believes that "software can disrupt any industry" and would like to do so with ACE.
The ACE team draws inspiration from the United States, where Cameo did fantastically well, and adjusts the idea and execution of the business for the Asian market.
Although Dene is an extremely new player in the market, he believes that "focus on brand, technology and talent (from competitors) is far from the standard of ACE".
Nevertheless, the young startup is not without challenges. Consumer marketplaces are known to be difficult to scale because founders have to balance supply and demand.
The same goes for ACE, and the team “always thinks about” how to strike a balance between the two.
Dene is certain that over time ACE will become a "truly international platform" as there is a worldwide demand for such short videos from stars.
As he aptly says, "Anyone who sees the reaction from someone who receives a personalized video message from their hero will fully understand why we are in the business."
Selected image source: ACE and Nicole Choo via Instagram