Aussie start-up PADLOKT wants to give fans access, like never before, to their favourite stars.
Even in this highly-connected world, PADLOKT is endeavouring to break down some of the remaining barriers between the idols and those that idolise. Fans will not need to win a prize, buy expensive tickets nor even travel from the comfort of their own homes.
Trent Sydney, managing director and co-founder of PADLOKT, 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.”
PADLOKT is a moderated live Q&A video session where subscribers can submit, and then present the questions they have always wanted to ask to the people they have always converted.
Right now, the list of celebs that subscribers can get close and personal with is heavily laden with athletes and TV folks.
- 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; and
- US TV personality Marquel Martin.
And PADLOKT is certainly weighed towards the traditional celebrity icons of the modern age, actors and athletes. However, the team have been thinking about a broader scope; “imagine chatting with your favourite astronaut or celebrity chef,” said Sydney.
Indeed, it would be fascinating to have the ability for one-on-ones with some of the great thinkers of our time, cosmologists, architects, and so forth.
PADLOKT will offer a variety of “channels” to begin with, with expansion plans already in the works.
Talent participating on PADLOKT (which include brand talent and individual celebrities) have their own talent channel which fans can subscribe to. Once subscribed, fans have access to a regular stream of exclusive content created solely for PADLOKT, giving fans 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.
Each channel costs US$1.99 per month, which in turn provides unlimited access to that channel. Fans can subscribe to as many channels as they like, with each additional channel costing US$1.99.
Being international, there is a danger PADLOKT could become single time-zone centric. The team have realised this, and being an-Aussie based startup, have decided to be as biased towards our part of the globe as much as possible.
A deal announced today, however, is very US-centric and sees some top UFC talent join in the fun. 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)
*Note these times may change, check the PADLOKT website to confirm.
PADLOKT Uses WebRTC technology, with no client to download, and uses a closest hop algorithm on Amazon Web Services infrastructure across the globe to ensure the video and audio quality is as good as it is going to get for the logistics of the session.
There was some fear that a video chat fest could turn into a nasty session of Chat Roulette. However with moderation, subscription based membership and a small radio-talk-back style delay built into the experience, flashing genitalia should be non-existent to the experience.
As users subscribe, they will provide limited profiling, and thus find out about upcoming events directly. The team at PADLOKT will also, somewhat ironically, use target social media and digital marketing to get the word out about these events in a broader sense.
PADLOKT is active from today.