In recent years we have witnessed an ever increasing presence of pet superstars on our social media feeds, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself how much they might be earning?
Grumpy Cat, the frustrated feline from Phoenix, Arizona, has a huge fan base of 2.3m on Instagram, 8.7m on Facebook and 1.3m on Twitter. Thanks to this fanbase this puss has managed to earn a staggering £64m in only two years with income sources coming from sponsorships and her own product lines such as books and films.
Grumpy cats career begun with a single picture being posted on Reddit, at first with people questioning if the grumpy face is real or if it is the result of editing, in fact it is the result of a combination of dwarfism and an underbite. The next stage was a Youtube video which obtained over 1m views in 24 hours according to Forbes Magazine. In Forbes’s 2017 list, grumpy cat was granted as the world’s most influential online pet.
Whilst grumpy cats fame is quite exceptional, there are many other pets (with reasonably normal facial expressions) who are generating reasonable income.
A three year old pug called Barry has a following of over 41 000 earned roughly £250 for a Virgin Media campaign and another £200 for work with Cineworld with travel expenses paid . Pugs owner, Nicole Lane, originally posted pictures of him just for the purpose of keeping a “kind of photo diary”. As Barry’s fan base grew, she started to receive emails from companies offering to send her free products in exchange for them to be included in her photos. She also received cash offers for direct advertising, but rejected them as she felt they were not appropriate for her fans. Ms Lane now has the bargaining power to negotiate fees with companies charging £35 for one photo, £65 for two photos and £85 for three.
Although it can sometimes take years to build up a fanbase large enough to generate money, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to post a few pictures of your pet each day, so why not give it a try?