Want to know how to write and perform songs? Shawn Mendes, Madonna, or Diplo are happy to teach you. On Tuesday, talent manager Guy Oseary and entertainment executive Michael Powers launched Bright, a star-studded educational livestreaming platform that pledges classes and lessons from celebrities. Also slated to host sessions are Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, Laura Dern, Ashton Kutcher, and Kane Brown among many others— and Bright’s cofounders say the company has 1,500 potential speakers on a waitlist.
Madonna is one of Oseary’s longtime clients, and Kutcher is his partner in Sound Ventures, a venture capital firm he founded in 2015 — and Bright’s investors include Sound Ventures, RIT Capital, and Norwest. Powers, a former CBS interactive executive and an early employee of YouTube, will serve as CEO.
Educational video content is in high demand: MasterClass, which has Carlos Santana on guitar-playing and Gordon Ramsay on cooking, was valued at $800 million last year, per Bloomberg, while competing platform Monthly.com has courted musicians like Kygo, Charlie Puth and Ryan Tedder along with artist Ten Hundred and baker Christina Tosi, founder of Milk Bar. What differentiates Bright, however, is that rather than uploading pre-recorded videos, Bright will air all its sessions live. Audience members can send questions in the stream’s chatroom and join the host on the webcast’s “stage.”
“I personally prefer to experience the conversation, and I think the audience will feel more connected getting their questions answered. When you’re leaning back, there’s there’s none of that connection,” Oseary says. “When you’re at a concert and the artist brings one person on stage that night, it feels like we’re all on stage. I think it’s really beautiful to see people connect with one another. And we’re the only ones doing that in this space.”
Each host will decide how long their session will be, how many spaces they’ll allow for the audience to tune in, and how much their session will cost. The talent gets 80 percent of the revenue from the session and Bright takes the remaining 20 percent.
While Masterclass’s premium videos can take a while to produce, Bright’s sessions will be more casual and low-cost, which allows the company to air more content.
“We’re not anywhere near what they do. They’re focused on episodic content,” Powers says. “We want to provide a very comfortable place with excellent tech that allows people to not be intimidated. They don’t have to get the crew and the hair, and the makeup and script everything. We’re not looking for that. You want to go deep, go somewhere else and there’s 20 people there you can watch. We want an endless sea of amazing talent out there that have some something to share.”
Bright is the latest in Oseary’s portfolio of companies that aim to shift the creator-audience relationship. Oseary is a cofounder and investor in Pearpop, a marketplace that lets creators like musicians and actors pay for interactions with some of TikTok’s most influential content creators. Sound Ventures also invested in Community, a platform that allows artists to text fans directly. As the highly digital era continues to break down the barriers between celebs and audiences, Oseary is keen on ways to streamline those channels of communication.
“Everything I’m looking at, everything I care about, is about making less friction and going direct,” Oseary says. “This is your audience. This is you. Let’s connect the dots. Talent is doing all the hard work. They’re hustling. They’re pushing content. Where is the ability to then monetize their hard work? My whole life has been has been around talent and supporting and helping talent, and I think this is just one more step in that direction.”