Back in November 2013, a selfie-sharing app called Shots of Me launched touting financial backing from Justin Bieber. After an initial burst of publicity, it quietly built an audience of teenagers under the radar: not a failure like most social app launches, but not a Musical.ly-sized hit either.
Shots reminded the music industry that it existed in April this year, though, when it acquired defunct music video-sharing startup Mindie.
Now the company is pivoting into something different: more of a multi-channel network, signing up emerging social stars and making videos with them for other platforms, YouTube included.
“If I had to choose on betting on an app or a creator, I’m putting all chips on the creator,” CEO John Shahidi told BuzzFeed. “While these companies all fight over features and stuff like that, I’d rather focus on content, because at the end of the day, that’s what they’re all going to need anyway.”
And Bieber? He’s still involved in every talent signing, says Shahidi. “Justin is not just an investor, he’s a partner… He’s got to really like the person. He’s got to appreciate their art, whether it’s comedy or music, and also like them as a person as well.”