Padlokt is a new Australian-built service that offers celebrities a chance to engage fans with exclusive content and get paid. As a user the pitch here is a small monthly fee, less than a cup of coffee (US$1.99), that enables you to engage with celebrities like NBA, NFL, UFC athletes. The great thing about the Padlokt platform is that it breaks away from everything else on offer right now.
Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat are all highly managed social channels for broadcast and even if you have an actual reply from your favourite celebrity, its fleeting and they certainly won’t remember you. Instead of a quick 140 character post or a 10 second video, fans will engage with celebrities through video chat. While the Hangouts-style video shows participants from around the globe, the moderated experience is quality controlled (mics muted etc) by a Padlokt team member.
Check out some examples of the experience people have already had with NFL footballer Randall Cobb from the Green Bay Packers.
The frequency of exclusive content from the celebrity is absolutely up to them, but the idea here is that with a financial incentive to create more content, engage more fans in more meaningful ways, that celebrities will do it more often. There are four ways to connect: These include:
- Live Video Q&A – Fans get face-to-face with their idols in fan-fueled, two way Q&As
- Live Video Broadcast – Fans tune in to the latest feed from their idols
- News Updates – Fans keep up to date with the latest news and activity
- Video Archive – A range of exclusive video content, available any time
Initially the service is aimed at sports and entertainment fans, with official partnerships with the UFC and several top-tier professional athletes from the NBA, NFL, world of cricket and track and field, Padlokt has bold ambitions to draw celebrities from all walks of life. Music and movies stars and even business people with significant audiences can leverage the platforms and are able to find that chain of monetisaion on their content that skips on the ads that continue to decrease in effectiveness.
Established in Australia earlier this year, Padlokt has bold, international ambitions and have structured their infrastructure on Amazon’s cloud to ensure they can scale out as the user base grows. The company was created by former video communication professional Trent Sydney, management consultant Jason Blewitt, and former professional cricketer and boxer Adam Hollioake. Funding has come from the worldwide media agency Ogilvy and a group of private strategic investors.
Padlokt made some smart decisions in launching the service, they avoided the trap of the quick and obvious path of pitching to the Australian Cricket, Netball or Football teams, instead tackling some of the hardest international sports which have some of the hardest problems to solve, like the mix of existing contractual obstacles to negotiate including team, sport and individual player commitments. As these initial batch of athletes report back to team mates and friends in the industry, expect the list of recruits to grow rapidly.
Something else that’s smart about the platform is that Padlokt have made the experience easy for celebrities to participate in live streams. This demonstrates an understanding of celebrity lifestyle and their international travel commitments, a cumbersome studio setup with perfect lighting and audio was never going to work. Instead Padlokt simply asks hosts to access the service from a laptop and fans are reporting the more natural flavour to the video provides a better, more realistic connection to their idols, so yeah, you’ll see them using their iPhone earbuds and that’s by design. Keeping things simple also increases the likelihood the star will continue to use the service often.
The deals announced today will see top athletes from the UFC join the following talent on Padlokt:
- NBA basketball player Julius Randle from the Los Angeles Lakers
- NFL footballer Randall Cobb from the Green Bay Packers
- Four-time track and field Olympic gold medal winner Sanya Richards-Ross
- Former English international cricketer and professional Boxer Adam Hollioake
- US TV personality Marquel Martin
While live video interactions will play a key role in why people continue to come back month after month, the behind the scenes, members-only Padlokt-only content will be recorded and available on-demand. As a fans, you can ask your favourite athlete that question you’ve always wanted to ask them; face-to-face, via live two-way video.
The first live two-way video sessions confirmed as part of the UFC partnership are:
- UFC flyweight champion Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson (15th Dec, 7PM PST)
- No. 1 ranked UFC light heavyweight Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson (20th Dec, 7PM EST)
- No. 5 ranked UFC bantamweight Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt (27th Dec, 7PM PST)
- UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (29th Dec, 7pm PST)
Managing Director and co-founder of PADLOKT, Trent Sydney said,
We created PADLOKT to give fans a simple way to build a real connection with their idols and vice versa. We wanted to find a way for fans to ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask, and for talent to answer those questions as they want them answered, face-to-face live over video and not through third parties.
It’s about stripping back barriers from both sides of the relationship, whether geographical or economical, and creating a safe place that facilitates the fan-celebrity relationship. PADLOKT gets the fan closer to their idol and celebrity closer to their fans.”
To join, head to www.PADLOKT.com, choose a channel and select ‘subscribe now’. Side note, there are mobile apps coming soon, so you can consume and engage with your favourite channel out anytime anywhere.