As YouTube approaches its 17th anniversary, many of the early viral video stars that made the site famous are much older, wiser—and wealthier.
But perhaps the biggest viral video to ever grace the site is 'Charlie Bit My Finger'. For many years, it held the top spot as the most-watched clip on YouTube.
The video, which clocked in at just under a minute, was a You've Been Framed style family film where three-year-old Harry Davies-Carr has his finger bitten by one-year-old baby brother, Charlie.
Although the video was only intended to be seen by family and friends, it quickly became the most-viewed YouTube video of all time.
The 56-second clip shows Harry decide to put his finger in Charlie's mouth, and is then shocked and surprised by what happens next.
16 years on, Harry and Charlie are now teenagers, and are older brothers to their two siblings, Jasper and Rupert.
Although they look unrecognisable today, the video still plays a big role in their lives, giving their parents the opportunity to grow their family and send all of the kids to uni.
The family has made a tidy sum of money, but hasn't splashed it on flash cars or houses, although Charlie and Harry have both joked about spending their royalties on Ferraris.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain, dad Howard said: "Charlie once came home and said, 'is it true you can buy me a Ferrari?'
"In reality, we don't actually treat them that much."
Charlie, now 15, joked: "The video has made money? What money?"
His brother Harry added: "He keeps it very secret, don't you Daddy?"
In fact, the pair's mum Shelley said they wouldn't have been able to have Rupert without the success from the clip.
Tesla owner blows up car with 'Elon Musk' inside after receiving £16k bill for repairs
Why did Charlie Bit My Finger get taken off of YouTube?
With more than 880 million views, you'd think YouTube would have fought hard to keep Charlie Bit My Finger on the platform. While it's still possible to watch other versions of the video, the original clip has now vanished from the platform.
This is because the Davies-Carr family decided to auction off the clip as an 'NFT', a kind of digital asset that acts like 'copyright' on an original video, meme, artwork or tweet.
The clip went on sale for £538,000 in June of last year, with an anonymous bidder called '3fmusic' winning the auction.
'Star Wars kid' unrecognisable 20 years after becoming first ever viral YouTube star
This means that the winner of the auction now owns all the rights to the video.
Meanwhile, the Davies-Carr family has banked the cash, making £1 million total since uploading it.
"The biggest change to our life is that instead of having two children, or three children, we have four children—and we saw the money as a way that actually we can afford that comfortably."
The family plans to use the money to get all four boys through university, in the hope that they'll find fame for something other than the video someday.
Source: Read Full Article