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DIGITAL CELEBS

Social Media Ledger

By Karina Masolova

At Brand Licensing Europe, keynote speaker Cassey Ho outlined the history behind her successful merchandising program (over 200 SKUs available from her online store and speciality boutiques). Her key points for building a successful brand—staying true to oneself, listening to the fan community—ring true for all digital celebs TLL identified as licensing leaders. Here’s the latest news from social media brands:

Agent Signings

The emoji Co., owner of the trademarks to the word emoji and a portfolio of almost 1,000 icons, has appointed Global Merchandising Services as its agent for the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland.  Other agents include Exim Group (Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia), Haven Licensing (ANZ), Studio Licensing (Canada) and Universal Music with Bavaria Sonor Licensing (Iberia).

WME‘s U.K. team has signed Ben Phillips (1.3 million). The Vine prankster will be represented in digital platforms, book publishing and television, as well as in-person appearances and commercials.

Vlogger Dylan Dauzat (YouTube: 21 million, Vine: 1.6 million) has signed with Abrams Artists Agency for representation in all areas of the digital space.

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) signed YouTuber Yousef Erakat (boosting 7 million subscribers on channel FouseyTUBE). The prankster joins a roster that includes Jenna Marbles, Bart Baker and Timothy DeLaGhetto.

YouTube star Daneboe (Dane Boedigheimer; 4.6 million) signed with United Talent Agency (UTA). Daneboe’s series Annoying Orange, has inspired a linear series that ran on Cartoon Network from 2012–2014. UTA also announced that the agency will rep YouTube makeup artist Kandee Johnson (3.3 million). She also hosts Skin Wars, a makeup-artist reality competition on GSN, and serves as lead beauty editor for Conde Nast. Also freshly signed for UTA is Eleventhgorgeous (100 million), a beauty and lifestyle channel starring two sisters from Alabama. They join social media celebrities Joey Graceffa, Flula Borg and iJustine.

Multi-channel network Rightster has launched Video Spring, a database of licensable viral, user-generated videos for brands, media publishers, and creators. They join companies like Jukin Media, who offers similar services.

Content Licensing

Mobile app platform Victorious recently announced its expansion into international markets with new offices in London and Singapore. The company works exclusively with digital creators like Ryan Higa, The Young Turks, Lilly Singh (IISuperwomanII), Machinima, and Lele Pons to develop custom apps that integrate fan content.

YouTube partners with free e-cards service Someecards to promote Tyler Oakley and IISuperwomanII (Lilly Singh), who recently joined its roster of home-grown creators featured in an extensive print, TV, digital, subway, and billboard advertising campaign.

Publishing

Dynamite has released the first-ever Grumpy Cat comic book, which hit comics retailers this month. The publisher is planning a follow-up to the three-issue miniseries for February 2016.

Tyler Oakley is set to publish his first book from Simon & Schuster at the end of the month. He joins a host of vloggers-cum-authors including, most recently, KSI (HarperCollins), Mr. Stampy Cat (Egmont), and Thug Notes (Knopf Doubleday).

Marketing

After releasing sticker-like “Lenses” in mid-September, which allow users to paste graphics over their snaps, Snapchat will begin selling sponsored versions to debut at the end of the month. The Financial Times reported that Hollywood studios are the first targeted clients, with rates reaching up to $750,000 on peak days and a more affordable $450,000 on off-peak days. If these numbers seem unrealistic, consider that brands reportedly shell out up to $30,000 for advertising deals (Forbes) with top Snapchat celebs like Jerome Jarre, Shaun McBride and Chris Carmichael.

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