Almost 15 years after "Charlie Bit My Finger" debuted on YouTube and became one of the most-watched videos in the platform's history, the brief clip will no longer be available to watch on the site beginning on May 23. The Davies-Carr family announced the clip will be deleted before it auctions off the rights to the video as an NFT, or non-fungible token. The video has racked up over 882.3 million views on YouTube since the family published it on May 22, 2007.
The auction starts on Saturday at CharliteBitMe.com. The winner will get to own the video as a "1/1 NFT, memorializing them in internet history forever," according to the website. In addition, the winner will get to make a new parody video featuring the children in the clip, Harry Davies-Carr and Charlie Davies-Carr, who are both in their teens now.
In the original video, Harry, then 3 years old, is seen putting his finger in his 1-year-old brother Charlie's mouth. Charlie then bites down on his finger each time Harry puts his finger in his younger brother's mouth. The clip was only 55 seconds long. Today, Harry and Charlie are 17 and 15, respectively. Their family said the brothers see the auction as a "new beginning" for the video. "Charlie Bit My Finger has been a huge part of the Davies-Carr family's lives for the past 14 years, and they are excited to welcome others to become a part of their story," the family said.
NFTs have caught the attention of dozens of artists. They are a unique digital token with an artist's signature, which verifies its ownership and is permanently attached to the piece. Kings of Leon recently made headlines when they became the first band to sell an album as an NFT, while model Emily Ratjakowski drew attention for selling a photo as an NFT. In April, The Weeknd sold his latest single, "The Source," in an NFT auction. "When it was first put up on YouTube, it was 14 years ago, and YouTube was the new thing. But now ... NFT has become the new thing," Charlie explained in a CNBC interview.
When The Weeknd explained why he released his single as an NFT, he said he believed blockchain is "democratizing" the music industry. It is also seen as a way to increase the value of music, which has been devalued by streaming services. "I've always been looking for ways to innovate for fans and shift this archaic music biz and seeing NFT's allowing creators to be seen and heard more than ever before on their terms is profoundly exciting," the singer explained in a statement. "I intend to contribute to this movement and can see that very soon it will be weaved into the music industry's mechanics."