With over 24 million views for a single episode, there’s every chance you’re already discovered Simon’s Cat. You might, however, be less familiar with Simon Tofield, the eponymous owner responsible for bringing his pet’s animated adventures to YouTube.
Unlike many online video producers who struggle to monitize even huge audiences, Simon has built an increasingly lucrative business by leveraging his creation into a series of bestselling books, a comic strip in a national newspaper – plus a line of t-shirts and other Cat-themed merchandise. So successful is the business, that Tofield has hired a full time brand manager to handle the commercial and technical challenges of a growing animation studio.
Partly because it’s always interesting to hear how online creative people make money from their work, but mainly because I’m a huge fan of Simon’s Cat, I connected with Tofield and brand manager Mike Cook via Skype to chat about the business of content, the challenge of online copyright and whether their audience is made up of terrifying cat people.
Video below (sorry about the appalling sound, and awful framing – this is what happens when I try to record a Skype call without asking the TCTV team for help).
Simon’s Cat: Beyond The Fence is published by Grand Central Publishing this month.