Have you heard about what Louis CK just did?
..it’s been amazing to conduct this experiment with you. 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, … 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?
…I directed this video myself and the production of the video cost around $170,000. (This was largely paid for by the tickets bought by the audiences at both shows)….If I’d done it with a big company, I would have a guarantee of a sizable fee, as opposed to this way, where I’m actually investing my own money.
…The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. 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…
…I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.
…I’m really glad I put this out here this way and I’ll certainly do it again. If the trend continues with sales on this video, my goal is that i can reach the point where when I sell anything, be it videos, CDs or tickets to my tours, I’ll do it here and I’ll continue to follow the model of keeping my price as far down as possible, not overmarketing to you, keeping as few people between you and me as possible in the transaction.
…I learned that money can be a lot of things. It can be something that is hoarded, fought over, protected, stolen and withheld. Or it can be like an energy, fueled by the desire, will, creative interest, need to laugh, of large groups of people. And it can be shuffled and pushed around and pooled together to fuel a common interest, jokes about garbage, penises and parenthood… – Louis C.K. (More here)
Louis CK has gone directly to fans. He has a growing and engaged fanbase and tapped them to help make this comedy special something truly special. I’m sure we’ll see more entertainers using this direct to fan model. For musicians there are already services set up to help you along, such as Topspin. This definitely where the future of music/entertainment is going. Awesome stuff. You can purchase Louis CK’s performance here.