A service launched in the US that lets fans call celebrities and raise funds for charity is set to launch in the UK next month.
Set up by telecoms sector serial enterpreneur Marc Jarrett, the dialacelebrity.com site will enable UK celebrities to talk to their fans and raise funds for their favourite charity.
The service, launched in America as DialaStar.com, is powered by a Voice over IP (VoIP) platform which deploys a ‘double blind’ system whereby the caller can never see the celebrity’s real phone number, or vice versa. Participating celebrities are free to charge what they like per minute, and then retain 70% of the call revenue. Jarrett commented: “if the celebrity in question is a UK tax payer, they can make the donation using Gift Aid, making the value of their donation increase by over 25% at no extra cost to them.”
He explained that using VoIP means that “there are no phone companies involved in the billing, which is why we can afford to pay operators that use the service a relatively high percentage.”
According to Jarrett, one of the celebrities using the service in the USA is regularly generating more than $1000 on a single call.
“We live in a culture obsessed with celebrity” he said. “Whilst Twitter has proved a useful way for celebrities to reach out to their fans, the telephone remains an inherently more intimate medium which to do so. And, perhaps more importantly, it will make money for the celebrities’ chosen causes in the process.”
Jarrett says he will also be rolling out a family of sister sites including DialaRockStar, DialaCelebrityChef, DialaComedian, DialaRapper, DialaFootballer, DialaPopStar and DialaSoapStar which will link to and from the main DialaCelebrity site.
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