Louis C.K.’s Experiment

Louis C.K. ran an intriguing experiment late last year, one that I hope takes off. Louis C.K. is an American comic that you may or may not have heard about. For the record I do enjoy his comedy styling but that he is is irrelevant, what he did is essential. You see exactly what he chose to do is to compile a comedy special featuring himself. Now this is not that odd, he’d done it earlier, what made this time different is he funded and distributed it all himself. This allowed him to keep costs down since he did not have to pay the normal ‘middle men’. Which meant he was able to market it for only five dollars.

Not merely did he distribute himself he made it quite simple to downlad and see, not employing any electronic rights management. This made it quite simple to consume but additionally, it made it easy to torrent and lawfully distribute. When you buy it that he pleads with you not torrent it expecting that, because it’s cheap, people will just do the ideal thing and cover for it.

The great thing is it functioned. 12 days to the experiment it had generated one million dollars! Being the wonderful guy he is Louis gave $280K to charity, $250K moved into manufacturing costs, $250K moved into his team and he kept the rest.

This demonstrates is that people are prepared to pay for items at a resonable cost rather than simply downloading them at no cost. With the willingness of the net he was able to distribute and market with minimal cost. This is not the first time that this format has been utilized but its certainly a great example of how it can work. I truly hope this is not a once off and other people, content produces and consumes equally, take note (and they are). Naturally there are a whole bunch of ‘middle men’ expecting the exact opposite.

Picture courtesy of Dan Nguyen