Celebrities have found a new way of connecting with their fans and that's through online platforms which are letting fans connect with their favourite stars virtually.
Platforms like myFanPark, TrueFan, Unlu are giving different options including shout outs, personalised video messages to connect with celebrities.
While on myFanPark and Unlu, fans can directly request for shoutout messages or video messages, TrueFan has opted for the gamification route.
For example, if you wish to get a video message from cricketer Robin Uthappa, who is listed on myFanPark, then you would have to shell out around Rs 10,000. Similarly, to connect with actor Sharman Joshi who played the character of Raju Rastogi in the film 3 Idiots, you will have to spend Rs 9,999 on Unlu for a video message.
But on TrueFan, fans have to play quizzes that are based on their favourite celebrity and depending on their score fans can win short personalised video message. Quizzes on the platform start from Rs 40 onwards. Some of the winners have received messages from stars like Ranveer Singh, Hrithik Roshan, among others.
Shailendra Singh, Director, myFanPark, who is also credited with being one of the driving forces behind one of Asia's largest music festivals Sunburn, said, "For celebrities, time is money. Be it on shoots or in between concerts, they can take out time to connect with fans and they can make money. In addition, they can also enhance connectivity with fans."
He said that on myFanPark, celebrities decide whether they want to benefit economically or they want to benefit by making stronger relationships with their fans online.
"There is now a parallel economy called the digital economy. And the digital medium is helping bridge the gap between celebrities and fans. I had stumbled upon myFanPark in South Africa and then I got the platform to India in July," said Singh.
He added that timing is right as both celebrities and fans prefer virtual meet and greets in times of COVID-19.
myFanPark has celebrities like Esha Gupta, Jay Bhanushali, Robin Uthappa, Sophie Choudry and Singh plans to add 100,000 celebrities by 2021.
However, his focus is not on A-listers.
"We are focusing on getting connectivity with lower-end celebrities and influencers, parallelly we are welcoming top-end celebrities too. We see potential in the influencer market because the numbers are going to come from there. We are targeting $5 million in revenues in 2021."
So far, the average spend on myFanPark has been around Rs 2,000 but there have been times where fans have paid in lakhs for personalised videos from their favourite stars.
In terms of number of orders the platform has seen, without sharing exact numbers Singh said that myFanPark has done hundreds of orders since the launch. "We have seen a great spike in the festive season as video shout-outs emerged as a great gifting option among people."
While the platform currently is offering only video messages, Singh said in the next seven days they will be launching myFanPark 2.0 which will see celebrities performing live for their fans.
Media experts say that such platforms can help celebrities monetise their social media following in a big way. However, innovations is what will make these platforms click with more fans.