Louis_ck_paypal

You’ve probably already seen all about this story but I would be remiss if I didn’t make sure.

In December the American stand-up comedian Louis CK, who has admittedly had significant mainstream media but really survives by his large cult following, decided to see what would happen if he released his own live stand up video.

In comedy, live videos are usually released by one of the major entertainment companies. They bear all the costs and pay the comedian a royalty – just like a record deal.

Louis decided to shoot and produce the video himself – which cost somewhere between $200k and $250k depending on what you include (the new website etc).

He then offered it for sale as a download only from his new website.

“The experiment was: If I put out a brand new standup special at a drastically low price ($5) and make it as easy as possible to buy, download and enjoy, free of any restrictions, will everyone just go and steal it? Will they pay for it? And how much money can be made by an individual in this manner?”

And, boy, did they.

In 12 days, he sold over $1million worth – hence the Paypal shot above.

Now, Louis already had a tribe that he could ignite through Twitter and other online PR, but so do a lot of bands, don’t they?

The key point here isn’t that he could do this but that his followers wanted to buy at that price and see that money go to him.

As Mashable said – His experiment proves, however that people are willing to pay for content if you communicate with them openly, shed the DRM and keep the price low.

I think it’s also extremely important to understand that this was a globally available release done on the same day. It’s a paradigm that the record labels don’t get!

I want to see a band do this as their model, not as a one-off like Radiohead (which was fine), rather than signing a deal!

It will happen.

Here’s the links to read all the stuff:

Lefsetz tells us how & why Louis could do this – this is a GREAT article!

Mashable tell us how much he earned

Hypebot on the story early

Louis’s own explanation

Advertisements