Simon & Schuster’s acquisition of picture book rights for the viral YouTube video What Does the Fox Say? illustrates an emerging trend among publishers to look beyond videogames and mobile apps for digital properties with licensing potential. The book, to be published on December 10, will have a 250,000-copy first printing.
What Does the Fox Say?, a three-minute music video created and performed by two Norwegian brothers who perform as the comedy group Ylvis, has generated more than 200 million views since it was posted on YouTube in September.
Publishers are increasingly considering properties that originated or gained fame through digital venues such as blogs, Twitter accounts, and YouTube, even as more of these brands are actively being licensed for content and consumer products. Examples include Cupcakes & Cashmere (with Abrams on board for books), Grumpy Cat (Chronicle) and Randall’s Honey Badger (Andrews McMeel), among many others.