Los Angeles Business Journal

WhoSay Launches Fan App

By Natalie Jarvey Tuesday, September 17, 2013

WhoSay started as an online platform for celebrities to connect their presences on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Now the company is launching a product for the fans.

The app, which hit the Apple store on Tuesday, allows people to follow their favorite celebrities and read WhoSay generated editorial content. Stars who use the service include Eva Longoria, Tom Hanks and Sofia Vergara.

Steve Ellis, WhoSay's co-founder and chief executive, said WhoSay is meant to help celebrities reach their fans in a more personal way.

"We give them an easy way to speak directly to their most important and loyal fans across the entire media landscape," he said in a statement. "And for the first time ever we make sure they share in the value they create from their original content and their fan relationships."

The company – which is backed by Amazon, Greylock Partners, Comcast Ventures, Tencent and High Peaks Ventures – plans to run ads on the app and then split the revenue with the celebrity who generated the audience.

WhoSay lists its headquarters as New York but has a strong presence in Los Angeles, including a Venice office just a block from the boardwalk.

The company was also co-founded by Century City's Creative Artists Agency in 2010. A number of the agency's celebrities are WhoSay members, including Longoria, Hanks and Vergara. Those close ties to CAA could make it difficult for the company to sign artists repped by competitors.