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How did Charlie Bit My Finger make money?

4 years ago

Lucy Jolin writer
Lucy Jolin Journalist and copywriter GB

Money was the last thing on proud dad Howard Davies-Carr’s mind when he shared a home video of his two sons on YouTube. Then the clip went viral – and it made a flipping fortune. The family aren’t saying exactly how much, but estimates range from $100,000 to $500,000, all through adverts and the site’s ‘partner’ program.

The 56-second home video, of his son Charlie gnawing happily at his older brother Harry’s finger, is on 462,943,621 YouTube views at the time of writing. That’s about $8K profit per second of film if top earnings guesses are correct.

In theory, anyone can make money from YouTube. Charlie and Harry’s clip made its initial money through the video site’s Partner Program: sign up and you get paid either by page views or adverts. While a few thousand views will net you very little, if your clip goes viral, the cash can really start to stack up.

If you end up with a bonafide hit on your hands, it opens a lot more doors: there’s now an official ‘Charlie Bit Me!!!’ app, there’s talk of a series of children’s books and even a cartoon series, and baby food company Gerber used the clip for an online ad campaign.

Money for nothing? Basically, yes. There no magic formula for what clips will entrance viewers across the internet (and perhaps make you a pretty penny), but if you’ve got a video involving kids, cute animals, and ridiculous things happening – it’s worth a shot.

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