MSM Corporation International (ASX:MSM) talks launch of Megastar competitions

MSM Corporation International Limited (ASX:MSM) Chairman Adam Wellisch talks FY17 results, launch of the Megastar Millionaire competitions and appointment of US rapper Usher.

Jessica Amir:
Hi I’m Jessica Amir for the Finance News Network. Joining me now from MSM Corporation International Limited (ASX:MSM) is Co-founder and Chairman, Adam Wellisch. Adam, welcome.

Adam Wellisch: Hi Jessica, thanks for having me.

Jessica Amir: First up, for those new to MSM Corporation. Can you tell us about the company?

Adam Wellisch: I think probably the best way to start is that we’ve just launched two weeks ago, our first product - a product called Megastar. It’s a global talent competition, which is head judged and mentored by Usher, who we signed a couple of months ago to head up the charge, in terms of promoting the competition. So MSM was originally founded in 2014 and then we listed on the ASX through an RTO in early 2016.

Jessica Amir: Now to your FY17 results. Can you tell us about some of the highlights, I believe you hit some pretty significant milestones?

Adam Wellisch: This year we’ve raised over $15 million in oversubscribed placements and we’ve also secured Usher, as our head judge and celebrity mentor. In addition to that, we have been able to put together a cast of sponsored performers, along with Usher and Jeb Corliss who is an extreme sport wingsuit pilot, who’s also come on board as a judge. We’ve put together an audience reach of over 130 million. We’ve launched Megastar in six countries and so we’re now well into the third week, of our first global competition.

Jessica Amir: Let’s just touch on Megastar itself, seeing it’s your key app. What does it actually do?

Adam Wellisch: Megastar is actually a global talent competition, which rather than being broadcast by television, is delivered through a digital content platform and mobile app. Essentially, the performers record their entries and upload them to the platform. The audience then, via the app, consume and view the content. They share it, talk about it, vote on it and those activities propel the performers through the competition. The key value proposition of Megastar for the performers, we believe, is actually amplification of their global audience. However, it does also make it a little bit more interesting for performers, because there’s a million dollar US prize.

Jessica Amir: Can you tell us about the marketing and the promotion of the app?

Adam Wellisch: There’re three streams to our marketing and media strategy, each of them has a specific objective. The first one is to establish Megastar as a credible and a high profile brand. And that’s being done by Usher engaging global media, particularly entertainment media, shows like The Ellen Show, James Corden on Late Late and Extra. Essentially, he’s going on those shows and promoting Megastar as his app and encouraging people, particularly performers, to download the app and get involved.

Once that has started to take effect and we’re now about two weeks from launch, we’re about a week and a half into that process. We have the second stage, which is targeted outreach on social media to performers. And that is specifically intended to attract high quality performers, to enter the competition and to bring their audiences in behind them. The third stage, which we’re probably about two to three weeks off peaking in terms of the activity in stage three, is really about driving social media campaigns and paid outreach to acquire the audience to come in and watch and engage in Megastar. Particularly through the final stages, which kick off in November.

Jessica Amir: A more general question now about competition. How does YouTube impact your market?

Adam Wellisch: The behaviour that we’re seeing in the market, particularly under 35s, is that people are not watching television anymore. And the real issue with talent competitions is that they don’t transition well, from broadcast television format over into new video consumption platforms, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. And so there’s a real difficulty there, particularly for the talent show formats in transitioning. Megastar sits right at the middle of that transition and is intended to target, and transition audiences from broadcast over to digital.

Jessica Amir: Now zooming out big picture. What’s your focus for the next 12 months and longer-term?

Adam Wellisch: Obviously successful execution of Competition One for Megastar, goes without saying, we’re well on track to be doing that. Beyond that, it really opens up. So the first Megastar is an English-speaking competition, where we’re already having conversations with a number of partners in China, India, Africa in fact and the Middle East, about partnering on non-English speaking versions of Megastar. Which is really exciting, because the audiences in some of those areas are significantly larger, than what we have in the English-speaking world. So that’s very exciting.

There’re also significant opportunities around using the platform and the technology to deliver branded competitions, which are in much more niche areas. And because the capital has already been deployed in building the platform, therefore, the cost of deployment of much smaller competitions becomes cost effective.

Jessica Amir: Adam Wellisch, good luck with the competition, of course the app itself and for the coming year.

Adam Wellisch: Thanks very much Jessica.