Have you ever been reading Ashley Tisdale’s latest philosophical musing on Twitter only to suddenly exclaim, “Hey! I don’t deserve to read this for free. I wish Ashley could find some way to charge me for this wealth of learning she has bestowed upon me.” Good news to both you and Ashley Tisdale, because now there is Pheed, the latest startup in a long line of microblogging websites clamoring for your attention.
What sets Pheed off from the rest of the rabble, is not the six-acre mansion the company is renting out on Mulholland Dr. for their home base of operations, but rather the 200 celebrities and literati they’ve already enlisted to support their cause. The celebrity client base, which includes David Guetta, Chris Brown, Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus and Ms. Tisdale, seems to be working, because the company, which has only been around a couple days, has already attracted over 350,000 unique views.
Pheed’s scheme is simple: Rather than solicit a humongous fan-base, many of whom are casual enthusiasts (or bots?) like a Lady Gaga-style Twitter feed, instead focus on die-hard fans and give them premium content. As an incentive for celebrity participation though, charge for that content. In effect, Pheed is going for quality over quantity. Right now the going rate for access to a Pheed feed is anywhere from $1.99 to $34.99 per view or per month, depending on the account. For $34.99 per month, you’d better get access to Miley Cyrus’ toilet cam (LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Miley Cyrus most likely does not actually have a toilet cam).
The idea for Pheed emerges from the same school of thought that gives options to fans over which DVD they would like to purchase. For someone who is a casual fan, they just want the no-frills single-disc movie. A collector with a more serious interest would want the three disc fully-loaded Director’s Cut with all the trimmings — that’s Pheed. Capable of hosting video, photos, text, and more (not sure what the “and more” is but I’m sure one of you will think of something…), Pheed feels the future is in, amongst other things, the layperson being able to film a concert in his garage and monetize it to the world.
Pheed, which did not comment for this story by press time, is a self-created, self-funded operation that has designs to make its nut by taking a whopping 50% of the profits for each account to which a user subscribes (so don’t go putting platinum castles in the fish tank just yet, Lil’ Wayne). But so far, with plenty of connections in Hollywood, and no venture capitalists to answer to, Pheed is on the right track to make a serious push into the social media stratosphere.
It’s free to sign up and take the cruise on Pheed, just try not to be crushed when Ashley Tisdale doesn’t subscribe to any of your “behind-the-scenes” videos though.