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Cameo is a one-stop shop for people looking to get a special shoutout or a personalized video message from their favorite celebrity. The platform also offers live video calls and direct messaging opportunities with stars, as well as virtual events and marketing content for businesses. Since 2017, over 30,000 celebrities have joined Cameo, and the number only continues to grow! From actors to athletes and even famous animals, Cameo offers 668 unique categories of celebrities for fans to choose from.
2020 was a record-breaking year for Cameo’s business. On top of selling their millionth Cameo, reaching 2 million downloads, and donating over $1 million to several nonprofits around the world, the company did “approximately $100M in GMV, growing at a rate of over 4.5x YoY, with average order value increasing by ~25% to roughly $70.”
When did Cameo Start?
The idea for the app came from the CEO, Steven Galanis. In a 2021 CNBC interview, Galanis was asked about how he came up with the concept of the platform. He replied with a story about being at his grandmother’s funeral, where his now co-founder, Martin Blencowe, approached him with a dilemma. Martin was an NFL agent and told Steven that he had a client that he wanted to make additional money for, but didn’t know how. He went on to explain how he believed that the football player had the potential to be a big online personality. Martin showed Steven a video of the client congratulating someone on Nike’s marketing team on becoming a father. Steven told the interviewer, “and that was immediately just this magical moment, like the light bulb went off.”
Steven Galanis and co-founders, Devon Spinnler and Martin Blencowe launched the app in 2017. The very first celebrity that Cameo featured was Cassius Marsh, the Seattle Seahawks player that Martin first introduced to Steven via a video message at his grandmother’s funeral. Cassius now has the pleasure of getting to say that he is Cameo’s very first investor. The Cameo team continued to bring on athletes, such as Nigel de Jong and Maro Itoje. As the platform started to receive more traction, Galanis and his co-founders expanded their celebrity list to offer more categories such as actors, musicians, and comedians.
Cameo is most popularly used for creating meaningful connections between celebrities and their fans through personalized pre-recorded video messages. However, there are many other uses of the app. Here’s a breakdown of the several features that Cameo offers users:
1. Cameo For Business (C4B)
- Virtual Events: Businesses can make their events more memorable by using Cameo Videos to introduce speakers, celebrate achievements, or host motivational talks.
- Marketing Content: Celebrities can endorse your brand and be the solution to your advertising needs. Cameo Videos can be a great alternative to traditional marketing strategies.
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- Sales and Prospecting: Make your business stand out by giving your prospects Cameo Videos by their favorite celebrities!
- Employee Recognition: Businesses can use Cameo Videos for promotion announcements, employee achievements, and development programs for trainees.
2. Cameo Calls
Cameo updates their platform daily to offer fans 1-on-1 calls with celebrities. To join a live call, users pay the rate set by the celebrity and instantly get added to a Zoom meeting with them. Cameo also lists upcoming calls and which celebrities will be available to book in the upcoming days.
3. Celebrity Profiles
Celebrities have personalized profiles that give users an introductory video and a bio that shares a little bit about them. It also gives users information such as when they are available to book, how much money it costs to book them, the time frame in which they will respond. Each celebrity also has a review section where fans are able to share their experience in receiving a Cameo Video from them.
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How Creators Use Cameo
For celebrities wanting to be a part of the Cameo community, they must apply or be invited onto the platform. To apply, celebrities must have a fanbase and a social media presence. If they meet the criteria, Cameo then reaches out to them. When they become a Cameo member, creators receive a VIP invite code. They can give this code to other famous entertainers to join the platform. By giving out this VIP code, they receive 5% of the creator’s earnings.
There are multiple uses to Cameo for creators, such as to promote their work, interact with fans, or add an additional stream of income to their pockets. Whatever their reasoning is, Cameo is there to make it happen!
Creators on the platform have the freedom to set their own booking prices, which can be anywhere between $3, or if you’re Floyd Mayweather, $15,000. Whatever price creators charge, Cameo receives 25% of it, while the other 75% goes directly to the creator.
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Why Should You Use It?
For celebrities, there are many advantages to using Cameo. For one, you get to connect with and learn about your fans which you would otherwise not get to experience in real life. Cameo makes for a safe, fun environment to talk 1-on-1 or make a special fan’s day with a video message. The monetization structure also allows creators to set their own prices and receive 75% of the money they make on the app. Lastly, creators are given the freedom to work when they want to. Creators decide when they are available to book, which means they can join the platform with very minimal commitment to it.
For fans, on the other hand, the advantages to using Cameo are different, but still very enticing. It’s not every day that you see your favorite celebrity in real life, let alone receive a video message or even have a conversation with them. Cameo makes this dream a reality for the everyday individual. The platform has creators from every niche of social media, entertainment, sports, and more – another advantage for fans. With over 30,000 creators to pick from, the app can be used by almost anyone, no matter their age or interests.