Viral sensation Baby Shark is getting an animated television series. Nickelodeon announced the project along with a licensing deal: Nickelodeon consumer products will manage all Baby Shark merchandise worldwide, excluding Asia. Baby Shark products already exist — from shirts and popsockets to plush singing sharks — but a licensing deal from Nickelodeon means that the brand will continue to grow.
Baby Shark comes from South Korean educational brand Pinkfong, which makes fun, catchy music videos tailored to kids. Though the song existed before the first Baby Shark video, Pinkfong is responsible for the song’s recent rise to fame. The original video was posted in 2016, but Baby Shark became a viral hit in 2018, after hashtag challenges initially tailored to parents of Baby Shark fans started to trend and even many people without young children found the song stuck in their heads. The song was later covered by various television hosts and was featured on the X Factor.
Baby Shark cracked the Billboard Top 100 in the first week of January, and has since become the most popular “educational” video trend on YouTube. The original video secured the ninth spot on the top 10 most viewed YouTube videos (beating out Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” and Katy Perry’s “Roar”). On May 31, American DJ Jauz released an EDM version of the song. Baby Shark has a lasting power, unlike many viral memes these days.
It’s due in part to the fact that Baby Shark isn’t just a meme — and Pinkfong does more than make Baby Shark videos. Pinkfong enjoys a vibrant life separate from its viral status as a powerhouse in YouTube children’s content, which itself is a huge portion of YouTube views. With creepy and disturbing children’s content popping up all the time, the Pinkfong videos are a safe and wholesome alternative to some of the more bizarre, computer-generated knock-offs. Pinkfong, for all intents and purposes, represents the some of the best kids content on YouTube. In a world full of “Johnny johny yes papa frozen” and “Super Heroes Finger Family Song & Dance,” it’s no wonder Baby Shark is so popular.
Beyond the YouTube videos, Pinkfong has 125 series of apps tailored towards children with 150 million downloads. Titles range from the Flappy Bird-esque Baby Shark Run to Pinkfong ABC Phonics. It makes sense that Pinkfong would focus on growing its place in the children’s entertainment sphere, and that a big American children’s entertainment company would want in on the viral phenomenon.
There is no word on when the animated series will come out, or who is involved. But one thing’s clear: Baby Shark is here to stay.