A trio of Australian models that became an internet comedy hit have been signed to host a new online talent show designed for mobile phones.
Shae-Lee Shackleford, Lana Kington and Madison Lloyd, who have had more than 100 million YouTube views as members of SketchSHE, were announced Wednesday as the hosts of worldwide talent contest Megastar.
The program is the first venture for MSM Corporation (MSMCI), which raised $7 million a year ago in a reverse takeover of mining company Minerals Corporation and now bills itself as a “digital incubator”.
Sophie McGill, Asia-Pacific executive director of MSMCI said SketchSHE was perfect for the gig after online popularity of their comic YouTube lip sync videos spilled over to mainstream media.
“Because the group has appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show and Good Morning America as well as in Australian media on programs such as Sunrise, we feel they have the global appeal, skills and visibility integral to the launch the next stage of talent competitions,” she said.
ASX-listed MSMCI is touting Megastar as the first wide-appeal talent competition to cross over from television to smartphones, promising to combine “social media, gaming and live entertainment” into the experience, with a top prize of $US1 million as the carrot for contestants.
The show will be launched in the “coming months”, and viewers will also have chances to win unusual prizes such as roles in films.
“It’s such an obvious parallel between the popular TV talent show format and the whole YouTube and socially-connected world that no-one has actually done yet,” said the members of SketchSHE in a statement.
“We were fortunate enough to experience the power of the internet first-hand, and we are excited to share the rollercoaster experience with others as they get to showcase their talents to the world.”
The trio, whose hits include Bohemian Carsody and Mime Through Time, said that their ascent from zero views to online celebrity has not been easy and hoped to mentor the rising stars that come through the Megastar competition.
“Over the last three years, there have been times where we would have loved a mentor, so to have the opportunity to pass on advice and knowledge that we’ve learnt on our journey is a fantastic feeling,” they said.
MSMCI boasts a former Netflix data scientist, a founder of Pandora and a former Big Brother executive among the staff involved. The company reverse-listed on the ASX in January 2016 with $7 million in cash reserves and partnerships with US music studio and distribution firms.
The company tapped professional and sophisticated investors for a further $4,882,000 in September 2016.
After raising a total of $11,882,000 from the market, the entity is still loss-making, reporting an after tax loss of $4,697,402 in its audited half-year report to December 2016, with negative operational cash flows of $3,873,854.