Endemol Shine, the collection of agencies responsible for both television programs like Big Brother as well as digital aims like Michelle Phan’s Icon, has just acquired some more property that falls squarely on the digital side of the fence. Purchasing a majority stake in the company Simon’s Cat, which, not so coincidentally runs the hit YouTube channel of the same name, Endemol is looking for the 21st-century’s answer to Garfield.
Of course, a non-speaking, animated cat, who is typically only in black and white and found on a channel that seems very European in its artistic aims, is an interesting choice for the poppy, colorful and hyperkinetic modern world.
But that might just be the secret to Simon and his amusing cat, who have certainly proven themselves to have staying power since they were drawn into reality in 2008. The YouTube channel, which has over 3.5 million subscribers, continues to rake in the consistent views for every new episode in a way that very few shows can and has potential to be one of the most valuable properties around with respect to marketing and merchandising. With a big-eyed appealing feline as your protagonist, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to yet another financially lucrative kitty: Grumpy cat.
“Endemol Shine Group has a fantastic reputation and a world-class premium channel network in Endemol Beyond,” said Simon’s Cat creator Simon Tofield in a statement to the UK Guardian. “We’re looking forward to the next step of our relationship with the company and collaborating with the creative and commercial teams.”
Expect to see a lot more from this little put-upon kitty as its world to explore just got a whole lot bigger.