Global digital talent and marketing group Gushcloud International and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons have launched GC Studios, a global entertainment company, production studio and talent management firm. Based in Los Angeles, California, the launch follows Simmons’ appointment as Gushcloud's president and the company's US$11m funding for global growth in 2019.
As president, Simmons has helped the organisation expand its portfolio of US-based talents and clients. Together with Gushcloud and group CEO Althea Lim, Simmons facilitated the setup of Gushcloud’s talent agency headquarters in Los Angeles, as well as key offices in Shanghai, Hangzhou, and New York. Gushcloud now boasts 15 offices in 11 countries, including its headquarters in Singapore.
With roots in both the Asian and American markets, the union's main goal is to bridge creatives and investors from West and East.
With a focus on underrepresented groups in the social media and digital space, GC Studios aims to seek up-and-coming digital content creators to grow and represent. According to a media statement, both top entertainers and digital content creators will be developed across mediums such as podcasts, music, vlogs and comedy. Simmons was recently a guest on the Marketing podcast series. You may listen to the full episode here.
As a talent-centric company, GC Studios delves deep into the culture, interests, and passions of its diverse group of talents, generating content that drives culture-based conversations globally. The roster of talents under GC Studios currently include Cedric The Entertainer, Kellye Hardy, KmooreTheGoat, Naomi Campbell, Reggie Couz, and Russell Simmons. Collectively, these talents have over 174 million views on YouTube, 17 million followers on Instagram and over seven million followers on Facebook, the company said.
Simmons explained that today, there is still a large number of people in the West who are unable to gain access to opportunities or chances to showcase their talents, in the US and especially in Asia. With its attention on marginalised groups, GC Studios looks to seek and create opportunities for underrepresented creators by curating a nurturing environment for talent to grow, navigate and explore their full potential.
"Asia has grown a strong interest in urban and hip hop culture, and with its explosive nature in both parts of the world, it was a natural fit for the company to be a bridge where East meets West so that new opportunities are created," he said. Simmons also added that building this bridge between America and Asia allows talents to have access to newer and bigger international markets, audiences and platforms that were difficult in the past to access due to language and cultural barriers, such as China.
"The 250 agents we have based in Asia speak, live and breathe the various cultures. Just as how Asian talents need American interest to represent them in America, so do American talents require Asian interest to represent them effectively in Asia," he said.
Most recently, Gushcloud dived into live-stream and jumped at the opportunity to launch live commerce projects with local talents Nurul Aini and Eunice Annabel Lim. According to Gushcloud, over SG$3,500 worth of transactions was generated from the pilot episodes of "Life with Nurul Aini" and "Good Vibes with Eunice Annabel" in total, with each session lasting under an hour.
In addition, the talent and marketing group also posted a 50% revenue growth during the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020) compared to the same period last year. According to CFO Andrew Lim, Q1 2020 revenue was close to eight figures but he declined to reveal the exact amount. He added that while digital marketing budgets have decreased, Gushcloud's business is growing as brands and clients believe in its strategy and execution capabilities, as well as its financial stability.
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