By now you're probably very familiar with the Baby Shark song that has literally swept the nation. Even if you don't have a little one in your house, Baby Shark has become such a viral phenomenon that even those without kids have been known to hum the catchy tune. The Baby Shark song has become its own viral challenge and has even been sung on hit shows like The Late Late Show with James Corden, but where did it all begin?
SmartStudy a South Korean based educational entertainment company is the brainchild behind Pinkfong, an animated cartoon fox prince from the planet Staria who posts catchy music videos for children to dance and sing along to, including the catchy Baby Shark song. Pinkfong's English YouTube channel has more than 10 million subscribers and their most popular song, Baby Shark, has more than 1.6 billion views! RojakDaily writes that Pinkfong credits much of the success of the Baby Shark song with the fact that popular K-Pop groups have actually covered the educational brand's songs in concert!
Pinkfong has released numerous catchy songs with colorful videos for kids, but Baby Shark has become by far the most popular. ABC News reports that SmartStudy's co-founder, Ryan Lee, started Pinkfong when he wanted to come up with a “nursery rhyme for the new generation.” He wanted to come up with something that would appeal to many different cultures and nationalities and wanted some more upbeat than the “traditional nursery songs which are usually slow and calm,” he says.
SmartStudy created the now viral children's song by taking a well-known chant, added in some repetition and mixed it with some K-pop style music to create a viral blockbuster for the toddler crowd.
“Kids love the baby shark song for its easy and repetitive rhythm,” Lee Sung-bok, chairman of Korea Children’s Music Composer Association told ABC News. Teddy Zee, a Hollywood producer, and media and tech consultant explained to ABC News why the song is so appealing. “It is so catchy, it has such a hook, so addictive that it is literally crack for kids,” Zee explained. “It can go on repeat, [and it’s] so addictive that it even has parents and grandparents sharing in the experience.”
The song is now translated into 11 different languages, and there is an endless list of 'Baby Shark' products now available to kids who are in love with the viral phenomenon. While Pinkfong has definitely capitalized on Baby Shark's success, Zee says that the real test will be to see if they can sustain it. “The skillset is different going from short content that lasts three to five minutes at tops into a scripted longer-form, 22-minute format, which is the domain of traditional media companies in Hollywood,” Zee explained. For now, it seems that Baby Shark isn't going anywhere soon.