PizzaRat, the lovable scampering rodent that took the Internet by storm last week, now has representation in Hollywood.
An entertainment company called Jukin Media bought the rights to the 15-second video that reached over 5 million views on YouTube, a move that surprised many of the rat’s fans who retweeted gifs of the rodent in action. The guy who recorded PizzaRat, comedian Matt Little, will get paid for PizzaRat’s success.
Jukin moved fast after Little posted. The company went after the video when it only had 2,600 views and by securing the rights and the YouTube advertising revenue quickly the company was able to add PizzaRat to its collection of “20,000+ videos that have generated many billions of video views over the past few years,” said Mike Skogmo, VP of Communications for the company.
“There’s lot of talk about Pizza Rat at the moment, also the girl who explains weddings to her dad, and the elderly man who sings to his ill wife,” said Skogmo. “It’s worth noting that we either buy outright or do a revenue share on every video in our library, so oftentimes the original owners of the videos maintain ownership.”
Jukin Media is in the unique business of grabbing virality. And they move fast. According to Patch.com, Jukin approached a video creator five minutes after posting a video. The creator of the video received $200 and 70% of the advertising revenue. Jukin then actively goes after those using the videos illicitly, shutting down GIFs and copies.
The company also owns FailArmy, People Are Awesome, and The Pet Collective.
“The model is working. We’re growing rapidly, we’re profitable, and we’re putting real money in video owners’ pockets every single day. User-generated video is not a passing fad. It’s a permanent part of the entertainment landscape. We all love watching viral videos,” said Skogmo.
The company sees clicks from videos that were posted in 2010, attesting to the staying power of funny video.
“As far as the window on popularity goes, it never closes,” said Skogmo.
Content creators are using Jukin to cash in on popularity and, for the price of an average blog post, Jukin makes an easy bet on what people want to watch. While not all content hits PizzaRat popularity, an aggregated approach allows the company to make money on thousands of individual clips.
More important, though, Jukin doesn’t hide the videos away after they buy them. In most cases they simply go after copies and send the videos out to sites that thrive in the viral space – the sites that your distant relatives link to through Facebook. This increases the virality of the post and spreads it to an increasingly wider audience. While we can’t make GIFs of PizzaRat with reckless abandon, his is still a star.
Don’t worry, though. We’ll still have Milkshake Squirrel.