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Back in December 2011 comedian Louis CK released a 62 video special of a stand-up comedy performance titled Live at the Beacon Theater. Rather than release this through normal distribution channels as a physical DVD it was released as a digital download direct from his website for the princely sum of $5.
Recently he has expanded this to include two new titles – both audio only works, one of which is already available on video. Demand for the original title went nuts and Louis made his money back many times over, grossing over $1.1 million. Even though that’s US Dollars, that’s not too bad!
Other comedians such as Jim Gaffigan have also given this model a try, releasing his work Mr. Universe with the same model – $5 to download a high quality video file that is yours to do with as you please.
As a consumer I’m thrilled that these guys are taking this road. For a measly $5 (only just more than a cup of coffee) you get DRM free, high quality content that you are free to do what you want with. I hope more artists try this. There’s a warm glow you get from supporting great artists and legally bypassing the dinosaurs of traditional content distribution – and especially that dastardly iTunes!
The revolution will not be televised; it will be available for download DRM free.