Like a lot of artists, comedian Louis C.K. wasn’t thrilled with the way entertainment companies do business. So for his new comedy special, he adopted a DIY approach. He produced the special himself, and is selling it directly from his website, with no DRM or regional restrictions. The best part is that the video, available via download, costs only $5.
Four days in, Louis C.K.’s little experiment seems to be working. He shared the details on his blog:
As of today, we’ve sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58). This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely.
C.K.’s approach is also environmentally friendly, though that may not have been intentional. The show isn’t sold as a physically packaged product, which cuts down on the waste and pollution generated by producing and shipping millions of DVDs. There’s no stupid marketing campaign featuring posters and buttons and other forms of useless crap. It’s an environmentally sustainable business model, and those aren’t terribly common in the entertainment world. Fingers crossed that other popular artists follow his lead.
As a side note – this little fishie bought the special, and it was, as the kids say, awesome sauce. Here’s an out take from the show: