Snoop Dogg, Véronique Genest or Elodie Costa … The success of the video signing business

Powered by the health crisis, sites like Cameo or Vidoleo offer to connect stars and their fans. With a panel as wide as today’s celebrity notion.

For 15 years, Fabienne Carat portrayed Samia Nassri in the television series Better life. Sometimes fiery policewoman, sometimes creator of a smartphone application but also deputy mayor, her character died suddenly in January 2021. A shock for her fans, who have been accustomed for 17 seasons to spend their early nights in its ratings. But since October 2021, they’ve extended the adventure that started in the imaginary Mistral district a little further.

Because Fabienne Carat is already registered with memmo.me, a Swedish platform that connects celebrities and their fans. The latter, as long as they are willing to pay a few tens of euros, can afford, or offer to a loved one, an autographed video of their favorite personality.

“Hello, Fabienne Carat!”

Fabienne Carat set the price of her videos at 35 euros. And among the quotes that are accessible on his profile, should give an initial taste to future buyers, we can hear him wishing Merry Christmas to “Mémel” on behalf of his companion “Benjamin”. “I join him in wishing you the best holiday in the world,” he said in a video shot using his mobile phone.

“Previously, I was already receiving requests for autographed videos from fans,” Fabienne Carat explained to BFMTV.com. “The platforms have contacted me, but I always refuse. And then for Memmo, it was the son of director Robert Hossein who came to pick me up. I told myself it had to be taken seriously, and I took the step. “

But especially when he saw a friend move in heaven and earth to dig up, in vain, an autographed video of singer M. Pokora, with Fabienne Carat altering her melody. And if these videos, which he considered absurd at first, could bring a bit of joy to his fans? As her income increases – the actress did not disclose to BFMTV.com what exact total she earned from this activity.

“I have the impression that people miss me. The presence on the air is still 15 years …”, she slips. But don’t ask him to play Samia just for you, he refuses. “Sometimes someone asks me to start the video of” Hi, Samia! “. I don’t do that. I’m Fabienne Carat. So I say” Hello, this is Fabienne Carat “, and, I can talk to Samia “, he explained.

Fabienne Carat’s page on the Memmo website.
Fabienne Carat’s page on the Memmo website. © MEMMO.ME

The grace of the health crisis

In France, the dedicated video market is dominated by three platforms. Cameo, the American behemoth founded in 2017; Vidoleo, a French site launched in 2020; and Memmo, a Swedish platform currently deploying its activity in France, with advertising campaigns on social networks. The economic model of these platforms is based on collecting a commission for each transaction carried out: 25% per order for Vidoleo and Cameo.

The sector is one of the lucky few where the Covid-19 crisis has been a blessing. Cameo, for example, broke all records in 2020, hitting a jackpot of 100 million dollars-approximately 88 million euros-in video sales, according to its boss. A working business, since last April it has been worth a billion dollars from investors like Alphabet, Google’s main company.

“Obviously, the health crisis has increased the demand for autographed videos,” Nicolas Poulet-Alinat, one of Vidoleo’s co-founders, explains to BFMTV.com. “Both on the side of celebrities and their fans. The latter no longer had access to concert halls, all gatherings were prohibited … Sobrang na-miss nila, and also the celebrities.”

His project was “also born in the first incarceration, in March 2020”. “We wanted to do something fun. We wanted to bring people together, create social interaction, which was greatly reduced during this health crisis and in its incarcerations,” he said.

Fabienne Carat assured her, making paid videos for her fans was an opportunity to try to extend the “world then” through interposed screens. “During the incarceration, I lost public contact, and promotion, because it was during this time that my first book was released. So I first launched the concept of Thursday live, on Instagram, where there were a lot of discussion, lots of exchanges … In Memmo, of course, there is no direct exchange, but I can talk via message to my fans, I have feedback! “

Veronique Genest and Loana

Cameo, which is giant in its financial results, is also according to its catalog. It listed more than 40,000 celebrities willing to film themselves using their smartphone for a few tens or even thousands of euros. Caitlyn Jenner, former Olympian and star of the reality TV show Keeping up with the Kardashians, offers you its services for 2200 euros per video.

On the platform, we also saw rapper Snoop Dogg, who is currently not responding to requests, but also ex-convicts, such as Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer, who was sentenced to three years in prison last year. December 2018.

Personality features on the Cameo site.
Personality features on the Cameo site. © CAMEO

On Vidoleo, the French platform, the list of celebrities is more modest. First, at its size, over 300 personalities were registered, and at the overall influence of the panel. “We have a lot of French exclusives”, highlights Nicolas Poulet-Alinat.

Formerly the glory of the small screen, like Véronique Genest, the heroine of Julie Lescautor Tex, formerly presenter of Z’Amours. Singers like Keen’v or Colonel Reyel. Former athletes, like Frank Leboeuf, or complete strangers. Like “Nico Le Clown”, which contains … a clown, or a young woman disguised as “Ladybug”, this cartoon character is admired by children.

Personalities on the front page of the Vidoleo site.
Personalities on the front page of the Vidoleo site. © VIDOLEO

These platforms are also a reflection of the evolution that the “celebrity” notion has undergone in recent years, which is now being watered down by social networks. In Cameo, there are some very popular personalities in Tiktok, or from reality TV shows made across the Atlantic, such as the drag queens of Drag Race by RuPaul. At Vidoleo, candidates from French programs are trying to find their way into this market, like Loana Petrucciani (story in the loft), or Kevin Guedj (The people of Marseilles).

But Nicolas Poulet-Alinat assured him, “reality TV candidates are not in all sectors experiencing the greatest demand, quite the opposite. Even at the beginning, we thought the opposite, due to the popularity of some candidates in social media ”.

The Buzz Elodie Costa

On its home page, Vidoleo prominently features Elodie Costa. This 40-year-old singer, who suffers from dwarfism, made her celebrity debut on the tele-hook The voice. He doesn’t pass the “blind auditions” course, but launches into Tiktok. There, through collaboration with other users, funny videos and presentations of his dishes, he is gaining popularity. So far, his profile has 9 million likes and nearly 600,000 subscribers.

His humor, his self -loathing and his deafening first single – Melody, published in November on YouTube, has accumulated 3 million views – now it has gained a huge digital community. Results? “I have a lot of people asking me for autographs,” Niçoise told BFMTV.com today.

So he decided in October to register with Vidoleo, where he now offers autographed videos for 20 euros-he also did not detail the amount of his income associated with this activity.

“I have all kinds of requests. Happy New Year wishes, but also encouragement for exams, even marriage proposals,” she says. “I try to be fun, by doing a lot of things as stated in the contact questionnaire. I remember the first names very well and I try to be as natural as possible”.

Elodie Costa's page on the Vidoleo website.
Elodie Costa’s page on the Vidoleo website. © VIDOLEO

For Armel, 23, ordering one of these autographed videos turned out to be the perfect gift to complement the iPad he planned to give to his girlfriend for Christmas. At first, he was more interested in Afida Turner, a former candidate of story in the loft, now a social media icon. The choice of this Dijon resident, a young graduate of a business school, finally fell to Elodie Costa.

“Elodie, we know her because we sent her some Tiktok with my girlfriend. For example, her role as Chucky the killer doll (LINK). She doesn’t take herself seriously so we like her., She makes us laugh. “, this student now slipped from Dijon.

He then orders, and even pays an additional 15 euros to “deliver” within 24 hours, an option available at Vidoleo. In one form, he told Elodie Costa the reasons for his request, and asked her to pronounce the word “period”, an English interjection meaning “point bar” pronounced by the singer in French in a Tiktok.

As a result, when Armel’s girlfriend turns on her brand new Ipad on Christmas Day, she encounters Elodie Costa wishing her a happy holiday. Faced with astonishment, he laughed out loud. Armel succeeded.

Johnny Cadillac

But for Elodie Costa, there is no question of accepting everything and anything. “It can happen to me to refuse requests, like when I’m asked to sing rap. I don’t sing rap, it’s not my specialty”, judges the musician.

Fabienne Carat has also created some frustration, like this man who said he was sick and the order increased. After another video request from her, “I was confused, so I refused,” the actress said.

“Sometimes it’s embarrassing for someone to spend so much money. In this situation, which is a bit weird, I’d rather refuse.”

After his first Christmas victory, Armel had no plans to stop there. She has already seen the next celebrity who will beautify a gift in the future. “I saw Johnny Cadillac available, someone who looks like Johnny Hallyday. I want to have a video of him for my friends”.

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