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Would you pay to talk to a celebrity?

That’s the question of the day here at KitGuru and it’s one being asked by Dr Drew Pinsky too. He’s launched a new service called Greenroom, that works by selling a person’s time, for a one-0n-one video chat.

The idea is a simple one, but intriguing for those that want to drum up a bit of extra income away from their day job, or to generate extra money for a charitable donation. Considering the popularity of Reddit’s AMA sessions, it suggests that there is a market for this sort of thing – people love to talking to celebrities and interesting people. Whether people will be willing to pay for that one-to-one exclusivity however, remains to be seen.

To kick things off, Dr Drew himself will be auctioning off a fifteen minute block of his time. The starting bid? $200 (£125). Of course in the real world this would probably buy you an hour or two with someone equally as medically qualified as Pinsky, but it’s his celebrity factor that is expected to make up the difference.

Greenroom
$$ Cha ching $$

There are other hints that this could end up being quite popular. Some of the biggest Kickstarter rewards – for those donating thousands of dollars – often involve meeting with the creators of whatever product is being developed, or flying out to have lunch with someone important to its design. Will a phone call match up though?

Perhaps the question that should be asked however, is how soon will someone try and ruin a call. You know it’s coming. Anonymous will jump on this like a shot. Someone is going to get naked in front of Heath Slane (apparently she’s a stylist?) or one of the other niche sounding “celebrities” that have so far signed up to use the service.

Honestly while there are a couple of standouts, the current lineup looks like the ones at budget comic book conventions.

However Pinsky and his investors have already thought of video call sabotage. Greenroom staff will be on hand, monitoring the call so that both parties remain satisfied throughout the experience. Somewhat kills off the idea of one-on-one doesn’t it?

Those looking to take advantage at either end of the spectrum, can use Greenroom for a recorded message – with specified content from the buyer – a “talk now” conversation where a fifteen minute slot can be bought and used up almost immediately. However for those with a tighter schedule, fixed time bookings can be made.

However, not everyone is looking to use it as an opportunity to charge a few hundred dollars to wave and say hello to fans. Financial advisor Jeremy Wieson is offering 30 minute blocks for business planning. In that time he promises to help ‘define your idea’ and plan how the business or product will unfold.

KitGuru Says: The whole service looks very user friendly, if a little expensive. Some of the most fun to be had on Greenroom at the moment comes from looking at what the “celebrities” have set as their minimum payment for 10 minutes of time. The standard is $200, but Bryce Wylde wants $250, Frank Beddor charges $300. Artist Jill Greenberg wants $450 for a 15 minute slot, whereas Olympian Richards-Ross wants at least $600 for that same quarter hour time frame.

Comparably, Mr Wiesen will give you half an hour of his valuable time for $250. He’s also one of the few to have registered himself as supporting a charity. Good on Jeremy.

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