Online video stars are finally starting to be respected by mainstream media, with many landing deals with networks, studios, and publishers that see great potential for viewership and revenue. This month, another YouTube star has hit the big time, landing a new book deal, and this time... it just so happens to be a cat. Maru--arguably one of the most popular cats in Internet history, has a new book out in the U.S. starting tomorrow.
Rhett & Link, Justin Bieber, Grayson Chance... these are just a few of the names of YouTube stars who have gone on to mainstream success beyond online video. And now there's another name to add to the list: Maru.
Maru is a Scottish fold cat who lives in Japan with his owner, who regularly posts videos of the playful feline in action. Here's a sample video for those of you not already on board the Maru bandwagon:
Most of the videos on the channel receive well over half a million views, with many racking up viewers in the millions. And yes, cat videos are incredibly popular online, though none has a sustained and loyal audience like Maru. In a world with so many cat videos, Maru stands tall above them all.
The book is already released in his home country of Japan, but hits U.S. shelves tomorrow. You can buy it here on Amazon. What will you get for your money?
This round, adorable Scottish Fold cat may be an internet sensation, but he knows how to keep his celebrity status from going to his fluffy head . . . mostly. Maru and his owner, mugumogu, give readers a peek into the low-key life of the world's most famous cat. See all his favorite hiding places—trash cans, cupboards, cereal boxes . . . if it's cozy, he's there—meet his treasured toys, and learn what it means to wield just the right amount of cat-titude.
Now we can look forward to the legions of cat owners around the world who will no doubt be inspired by this news to try and recreate Maru's success. And while the world may not have room for two video-star cats with publishing deals, that won't stop people from trying.
YouTube is now a legitimate breeding ground for future entertainers, writers, actors, directors, and singers. The more YouTube stars that find mainstream success--yes, even when the star is a cat--the more YouTube's reputation grows as a place where young talent can be nurtured, discovered, and enjoyed.