Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theater:
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. [emphasis mine] 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.
(Via The Loop.)
Information on the internet is costly to produce, near costless to distribute, but marketing can be an issue, a costly one at that. Louis CK has an established brand so he can take the risks in production and let the viral nature of the Internet do its thing.
The experiment was successful but it’s not a game changer for Louis CK per se. (If you doubt that, you put out $250,000 for production and see how viral your show goes.) He just cut out a middle man, made more money and we saved some. That’s the game changer for the big distribution, really marketing, companies. Social networking is not good for their business model. Not at all.
Read his whole post. A lot to learn there.