I know that most of you have already read about this and perhaps even purchased the show (if you haven’t, then you need to get on it NOW), but I thought it was important enough to post here as well.
One of the smartest, funniest and best comedians working today (and the star of arguably the best sitcom on television), Louis C.K., just proved that not being greedy can still make you a lot of money. Louis did two performances at the Beacon Theatre in Manhatten that he had professionally recorded. He started a secure website to sell the concert video. He paid for everything and edited the show personally. Then he released it on the website for just FIVE AMERICAN DOLLARS. 5 bucks, folks. And for that $5, you can download it, stream it, do whatever you want to with it, because, as he says, the video belongs to you. It’s an experiment to see if everyone would just steal it, torrent it, etc., or if people would actually spend the money. And, if they did spend the money, could the seller really make any money off of the deal. He certainly found his answer. From his statement:
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. 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. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. 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.
Louis C.K. proved that if the product is good enough, people will buy it, especially when it’s cheap. He proved that, once and for all, people would rather buy something than steal it from the internet as long as you make it affordable to do so and realize that when they do, they then own what they bought and can do with it as they please. They’ve paid for it. They can share it, cuddle it, touch it inappropriately… whatever they wish to do.
Nice job, People Of Earth. I’m actually super proud of you on this one.
Links to Louis C.K.’s whole statement, a story from VentureBeat, TIME and much, much more after the clicky-jump!
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