SayNow, a service that enables “celebrities to connect to their audience over the phone” will announce $7.5 million Series A funding September 12, in a round led by Shasta Partners. Tugboat Ventures’ Dave Whorton, a SayNow advisor since early 2006, also participated in the round as did Costella Kirsch. Rob Coneybeer, MD of Shasta Ventures will join the SayNow board of directors
SayNow connects celebrities using a web based interface and phone messages. The service works both ways: celebrities can leave messages for their fans, and fans are able to leave messages for their favorite stars.
The pitch is simple: SayNow believes that voice is the “truest form of communication a fan can have with a celebrity.”
In practice, it’s a little like audio blogging. Celebrity messages tend to focus on what the star is currently doing, be that touring, recording etc in an informal manner.
The company’s technology is already being put to use by a broad range of well known record labels, including Zomba Label Group, RCA Music Group, Sony BMG Nashville, Universal Music Group (Def Jam Recordings, Island Records), EMI (Capitol Music Group), Hollywood Records, and TVT Records. Artists using SayNow include the Foo Fighters, Mario, Hurricane Chris, MIMS, Tila Tequila, Huey, T-Pain, Bobby Valentino, Papa Roach, Plain White T’s, The Rocket Summer, Kenny Chesney, and Chris Young.