In 2007, Howard Davies-Carr uploaded a 56-second clip of his two young sons to YouTube to share with a family friend. In the clip, Charlie bites Harry on the finger. Harry laughs. Charlie bites Harry again, Harry cries. Charlie laughs, and then it’s over.
But 417 million views and five years later, the family is still famous for “Charlie Bit My Finger.” And they’ve made quite a bit of money from the video too.
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Today, the New York Times profiled Davies-Carr, his wife and their two sons as they continue the well-trodden path of Internet celebrity. They now see the videos as a brand, and have capitalized on the video’s massive number of views (it’s already received 300,000 more views in the mere hours since the Times story was published) with a website, more videos, T-shirt sales, a forthcoming app and revenue sharing with YouTube.
All told, the newspaper says the U.K. family has made more than $158,000 off the clip and its assorted merchandise.
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Despite the money and the sequel videos the family has made, Howard Davies-Carr said he wouldn’t mind if the fame eventually wore off. “I wouldn’t be upset if people stopped watching,” he said to the Times, adding: “We’re just happy that our video has had the biggest success in the world.”