Looking for closeness between fans and celebrities or looking for profit? The new Allo my star application, for the exchange of paid telephone conversations between Moroccan personalities and their fans, leaves no one indifferent and makes a lot of noise on the networks. What is this new concept worth?
The star-system 2.0 makes its appearance in Morocco. How much would you be able to pay for five minutes, ten or fifteen of telephone conversation with Ibtissam Tiskat, 7liwa, Badr Soultan or even Driss Roukhe? Hello my star to the answer for you: Between 400 and 2000 dirhams. Now being a fan can be very expensive.
In the Kingdom, before Hello My Star, if the average person wanted to interact with a celebrity, the best they could hope for was an autograph, or maybe a hasty selfie.
For a while, Twitter also served this function: replying to a famous person’s post, and there was a non-zero chance that they would read everything you wrote to them.
Today, in a revival of the concept and the graphic charter of the American application Cameo, launched more than four years ago, Allo my star introduces the concept to Morocco, and it does not necessarily please. On social networks, many Internet users have expressed their anger at this new method used by Moroccan personalities to earn money. Some have even described it as “begging”. Ethically, this mercantile approach to fame seems to ask a lot of questions.
Allo my star seen from a bad by Samid Ghailan
“Make profit at all costs,” say users of social networks. Other personalities who have not agreed to “sell themselves” have also given their point of view on this new fad, such as TV presenter Samid Ghailan.
“With all due respect to all my artist friends, is the new app an insult to the artist or to the public? Has the artist become a commodity with his consent, or are the public being laughed at? Is it the fault of those responsible who forgot the artists during the covid, and overwhelmed by the crisis, they accepted this farce? I cannot find the answers, and I prefer to ask only questions. Yes, the idea has been applied in the West, but not everything that comes in there is necessarily right here, ”he wrote.
In fact, being a fan is now expensive. Several personalities from the world of sport, cinema, song or even gaming have agreed to sell themselves in exchange for prices deemed exorbitant, in order to allow their fans to realize their dreams.
Among the artists who have joined the app is singer Ibtisam Tiskat, who has set an amount of 1,343 dirhams to speak to her for 5 minutes, 1,791 for 10 minutes and 2,687 for 15 minutes.
For her part, actress Bouchra Ahrich set an amount of 627 dirhams to talk to her for 5 minutes, 895 dirhams for 10 minutes, 1343 for 15 minutes, and actor Omar Lotfi set an amount of 851 dirhams to communicate with him for 5 minutes, 1164 for 10 minutes, and 1343 for those who want an exchange lasting 15 minutes, to name a few.
The artists defend themselves
In an interview with Al3omk newspaper, Moroccan singer Younes Belmani expressed his amazement at the many negative reactions received following the creation of this application.
The artist explains that “this application, like other digital applications, includes Moroccan and Arab artists”, noting that “the idea of the application is old and is circulating in European countries, but in Morocco it has been described like “strange”.
Boulmani believes that “the prices offered on the application are ‘normal’ for some fans, noting that” the application is intended for people who have a strong love for artists and are able to pay these amounts “.
For his part, the director Driss Rokh declared that “the purpose of his participation in this application is to donate his profits to charitable causes”, explaining that he “constantly does good, whether through this application or by other means ”.
To great ills, great remedies !
A number of Moroccan artists and celebrities have started promoting the app, posting videos, showcasing its services and inviting their fans to participate and communicate with them, in exchange for prizes described as “imaginary. “.
On the other hand, this new livelihood could be explained, as several Internet users have pointed out, by the coronavirus crisis which has prompted celebrities to use Allo My Star as a source of income since festivals and concerts have been canceled in Morocco since the start of the pandemic.
Morocco has been in a state of emergency since March 2020. Under this measure, gatherings and music festivals are not allowed as part of proactive measures aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus and many personalities in the field have suffered from it. ‘stopping their activities, choosing to turn to social networks to improve their situation and continue to have visibility.
Allo my star was inspired by the American concept Cameo created in 2017, which allows fans around the world to chat with their favorite star. On this platform, more than 30,000 more or less famous stars, including rapper Snoop Dogg or boxer Mike Tyson, gave their fans personalized videos of a few minutes. Launched in 2017, the site saw its activity explode during containment, going from 9,000 weekly orders in early January to 70,000 in May.
Allo my star, the Moroccan version of Cameo
Building on its recent success, Cameo has been able to attract top-notch personalities. From now on, it rubs shoulders with both reality TV candidates and stars of sport (footballer Roberto Carlos, basketball player Dennis Rodman), music (Gloria Gaynor, Akon) or television (David Hasselhoff , Lindsay Lohan).
Setting their own rates (ranging from 2,300 euros for Caitlyn Jenner to 1 euro for the less watched), the stars pocket 75% of the money spent by customers, the rest going to the platform.
Former LinkedIn CEO and founder of Cameo Steven Galanis explained that the idea for the app came to him during a discussion with Martin Blencowe, a National Football League (NFL) agent who became his partner.
The latter had convinced one of his clients, the American football player Cassius Marsh, to record a message to congratulate a friend on the birth of his son, in April 2016.
“The feedback he got from his friend was literally, ‘This is the best gift I’ve ever had.’ And it made us think about the fact that if you’re not an agent’s friend or you don’t meet stars out of luck, it’s impossible to have a gift like that. This is where we began to dream of the platform, ”explained Galanis in the Chicago Tribune.
However, while the Moroccan version created a stir among the community, the original is wreaking havoc around the world and allowing many fans to touch their dream of getting close to their favorite celebrities.