Animated comedy series Simon’s Cat is celebrating its 10th birthday milestone, marking a decade since award-winning animator and illustrator Simon Tofield uploaded the mascot’s first animation to YouTube.
Born on YouTube in 2008, the series features the mischievous and often hilarious antics of a charming cat and his long-suffering owner, Simon. Endemol Shine UK acquired a controlling share in the company in 2015.
The brand is now a worldwide phenomenon with a global pawprint of over 17 million fans. The YouTube channel has nearly one billion views from audiences in over 100 countries, and the original video has now been watched over 60 million times.
"Simon’s Cat delights fans across a variety of platforms and we will continue working with best in class partners globally, offering our community of fans deeper engagement and product offerings both on and off screen," said Jane Smith, director, Brand Licensing and Strategy.
"With an active licensing programme in multiple markets, we have an ambitious strategy to continue the brand’s phenomenal growth and extend into new categories and markets.”
Ben McOwen Wilson, director of YouTube, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, added, "We are so pleased to celebrate 10 successful years of Simon’s Cat on YouTube. Simon’s Cat is a wonderful example of creating a channel based on what you know and love, in this case, the hilarious antics of a very funny cat, and using YouTube to find the global audience that loves it just as much as you. We look forward to seeing Simon continue to grow in the years to come."
The Simon’s Cat brand extends into a number of successful global consumer offerings across gaming, publishing, stationary, apparel and giftware including an apparel launch in Primark stores across Europe; nearly 2 million books sold in 30 countries; digital stickers for iOS and Facebook (50+ million downloads to date); and mobile games including the recently launched endless runner Simon’s Cat Dash, and last year’s release Simon’s Cat Crunch Time which has topped 5 million downloads globally. Simon’s Cat was also recognized on YouTube’s 2017 Rewind list which has now been viewed 188 million times and featured on Ellen DeGeneres’ Ellen Tube.
“When I created the first film, I never dreamt that Simon’s Cat would be so popular and continue to delight audiences around the world a decade later," concludes Tofield. "It came about quite by chance and I feel incredibly fortunate that I get to do my dream job, working with a fantastic team and entertaining cat lovers with Simon’s Cat’s mischievous, charming antics. Here’s to the next ten years!”
The most recent licensing deals signed for the Simon’s Cat brand include Star Edition’s art line and Isaac Morris’ apparel and homeware collections.