The owners of videos that go viral on YouTube now have their own agent to book them further lucrative deals, it’s been revealed.
The family of Charlie Bit my Finger – a video that has been watched more than 400 million times worldwide already earning them £100K – are now set to earn even more money as they become a global brand.
And they are not the only home video owners who will be cashing in.
According to a report in the Sunday Times a new agency has sprung up to represent and gain more deals for families whose videos go viral.
The aptly named ‘Viral Spiral‘ agency launched last year and has, the report claims, brought in individual advertising contracts worth £100K for these lucky home-movie makers.
The agency has apparently negotiated for the viral content to appear in adverts for such global brands as Coca-Cola, Samsung and Sony Playstation.
Damian Collier, who manages Charlie Bit My Finger, told the paper: “We now represent over a thousand videos …” He adds it’s not uncommon for the agency to book advertising campaigns that bring in £50K for the video owner – and in fact one unnamed client has earned £100K.
For example, Charlie Bit my Finger (click on the photo to see the video) is now set to get an iPhone app which allows you to upload a pic of yourself and have your finger bitten by Charlie. A set of children’s books are also planned.
Dad Howard Davies-Carr, whose video was originally only intended for his sons’ godfather in Colorado, is so busy he divides his time between the US and the UK as he appears in various adverts and chat shows.
Meanwhile, another family’s video of a baby laughing hysterically as paper is ripped up has been used by a Brazilian bank to advertise going paperless.
And home-movie clip, Thumbs up for Rock and Roll, which captures a small boy’s happiness as he rides a bike, has been shown in an ad during an American football game – that had 24 million viewers.
Viral Spiral is proactive in signing up those families whose videos show potential. Remember Fenton – the dog that was filmed chasing deer? The owner of that video tells the paper she was approached within weeks by the agency, who handled the flood of programmes that wanted to show the footage.
And a postman from Merseyside who posted footage of his son laughing was also contacted – he has since made over £10K from an advert.
According to Mr Collier most owners have no idea the content they post will take off as it does. The most popular clips that are most likely to go viral are those of babies and animals – although practical jokes also prove successful.