EXCLUSIVE: New Aussie-backed app dubbed “the Uber of celebrity entertainment” launches
Australian music tech start-ups have been punching above their weight since the start of the digital revolution.
So it’s not surprising that although the Associated Celebrity Talent App (A.C.T.A.) officially launches today, there’s already a buzz around it.
Musicians, actors sports people and comedians were given the chance to try it pre-launch – names like Sophie Monk, Robert Whittaker, Paul McDermott, Megan Washington and James Mathison – gave it the thumbs up.
A.C.T.A. allows event professionals to book talent directly online– and save up to 90% in time and effort.
It cuts out third party agents and aims to eradicate the misrepresentation, miscommunication and over-quoting that are part of the process.
“The reaction we’ve got so far is ‘this is something we ‘ve been waiting for and we really want it’,” A.C.T.A. Sydney-based founder and CEO Harris Meitanis tells TMN.
“It’s a peer to peer, transformative solution that safeguards the interests of clients, talent and their representatives and provides a transparency, and better experience throughout.”
Meitanis, a lawyer by profession, has been in the events and music industries for decades.
He ran a record label and publishing company and set up an entertainment agency which worked with corporate events.
It was a learning process of the drawbacks of the booking process.
“People want a clear path to the decision makers,” Meitanis points out.
“So with the technology that’s in the marketplace right now, consumers are really pushing for a transparent relationship and to cut out the friction in the middle.”
Other apps in existence make it easier for businesses to be run on the road and streamline the bookkeeping process.
But Meitanis emphasises, “The big difference between our platform and everybody else’s is that we’re the first contracting platform that is solely peer-to-peer and allows contract and tally.
“Ours puts all the documents in one source.
“Some apps act as middlemen. Our platform doesn’t hold money in escrow to pass on to the service.
“A.C.T.A. is not an agency. Customers pay us separately and deal with the service themselves.”
The A.C.T.A. platform is built on Ethereum using custom Blockchain technology to protect data integrity.
It was granted an Australian innovation patent by the Commissioner of Patents, IP Australia and has patents pending both in the US and Europe.
Sophie Monk explains, “A.C.T.A is going to make a huge difference to my professional life.
“When you’re juggling multiple jobs and commitments, it’s really important to be on top of every detail. A.C.T.A is definitely the solution that will help me do that.”
Titus Day of 6 Degrees Management says, “Finally, my talent is now always being priced transparently! My team loves the ease of use and instant notifications.”
George Said, MD of George Said MGMT and tour manager agrees.
“Over the years, I have witnessed countless problems in communication, due to the time that it takes for key information to filter through to the right person.
“A.C.T.A.’s instant updates and transparency are invaluable as they ensure everybody is on the same page.”
Caleb Bush, managing director of George P. Johnson Australia calls it “the Uber of celebrity entertainment.”
In Australia, the sector in charge of getting talent for corporate, private and charity events is valued at A$336 million.
The broader Australian events and entertainment industry worth approximately $4.4 billion per annum, according to an Ibis World report in February 2018.
A.C.T.A. launched with a $1 million seed fund, from investment angels, many from the events and entertainment industries.
A second round closes off in a few weeks to enable a global rollout.
A.C.T.A. has advisory committees in place around the world for when it enters the North American and Asian markets and some European territories such as France and Germany.
Over the next five years, A.C.T.A. will target the worldwide celebrity procurement sector which has over 150,000 celebrities and is estimated at US$9.28 billion within the US$750 billion global events industry (source: MICE Industry by Event Type – Global Opportunity Analysis & Industry Forecast, 2017-2023).