Funny Man Louis C.K. Drop Kicks DRM and Laughs All the Way to the Bank



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I'm just surprised it took as much as $250,000 to break even, like what the hell?



I love this.  I have been preaching this to people for years.  Some of you older folk may remember Turbo Pascal.  In the day, most if not all, programming language software cost $400 or more with heavy copy protection (the DRM of the day).  Along comes Philippe Kahn of Borland and sells Turbo Pascal for $49.95 and the only copy protection was the manual was a paperback.  That made copying it a bitch.  Borland sold a ton of them, and the rest of the industry had to come out with equivalent products.



Really though there is not enough data in the results to see if itmakes a difference, because all it tells is that he made X amount of money for the downloads. Other factors to consider:

Number copied and given away to friends etc (lost revenue)

Expected sales (Revenue)

How many times is it seeded in the Torrents, and how many people are downloading it.

Even though I do believe most people are more than willing to purchase their media legetimately and with Apple, Amazon, Google and others providing services that protect peoples investments it will only get better.



I've seen CK once and the man is funny.

But like many truly funny people he's also really smart.

I've posted before about how the internet makes the "gate keepers" in the entertainment world less important, and I stand by it. DRM protects those "gate keepers" more then it protects the artist, and this proves it as well.

I most likely would of never seen this special at all, but instead I'm going to buy a copy right after I post this. So I think CK will find he'll be much further ahead by the time everyone that will buy has.



CK is awesome but, unfortunately, i think this is only tenable for well established artists and entertainers.

Joe Shmo trying to 'come up' or fringe artists will have their castle pillaged on this, imho.



I disagree.

The only problem with this model is raising above the background noise enough to be noticed. Once this happeneds anything of reasonable quality would go viral IMHO and the money would roll in (well come in).

As well "Joe Shmos" and fringe artists will actually do better in the long run with a DRM free model. Their current problem is getting someone in a production/publishing company to see the value of their work and then help publish it for a wider audience.

If you self publish you don't sign over any of your rights to a publisher so you can keep making money off of your product till you decide to remove it. As well more and more sites are devoting themselves to "self publishers" which helps raise an artist above the background noise.

Mark my words. Although I don't see the old publishing system disappearing anytime soon. I think you will find more and more quality artisits self publishing as the years go by.



I don't know how many artists trying to start out you know, but this is pretty much the business model we use already...

As CK says, you don't make as much money this way, but if enough people like you, you can still make a lot.



I've been a Louis C.K. fan for about 5 years now.  I was hooked after an HBO special I saw that had me in tears of sweet, sweet laughter (and I am notoriously hard to entertain when it comes to comedy).  If you don't know who Louis C.K. is, he's worth a look.  Real funny dude. 

Anyway, I didn't really think I could like the man any more than I already did, but I guess I was wrong.  It's a nice little experiment.  It proves that at least part of the piracy/DRM problem is simple corporate greed. 

Personally, I think another part of the problem is the pricing of media in general.  I may have only taken one year of economics in college, but it's enough to know that people won't buy things that aren't worth the price being demanded.  $5 for a comedy special that will genuinely entertain me is infinitely preferable to $20 for a movie that probably sucks, lacks originality, and is likely the regurgitate of at least part of another movie that I've already seen.

So BRAVO Louie!!  In honor of your success, and to celebrate the occasion, I vote that all entertainment executives should be shaved from head to toe with rusty potato peelers, and thrown into pools of isopropyl alcohol repeatedly until they promise to stop ruining the industry for the entertainers and consumers alike!  Unless of course someone can suggest something that would burn worse than alcohol...totally open for suggestions with regard to that point. ;)



drm free for the win... the $5 was immaterial.  I bought it just to support the guy and not putting the drm on it.




I think the fact that he offered hs product for $5 had a lot more to do with the huge sales then the fact that it was DRM free.  Don't get me wrong, a lot of computer savy people surely love the lack of DRM but the majority of computer owners couldn't even tell you what DRM is.   A better experiment would have been to release his show DRM free but price it the same as other comparable products and then see if it still flew off the shelves. 



DRM was irrelevant. No DRM has ever been of any use in stopping pirates anyway, so wether it had DRM or not wasn't the point. The real experiment here was whether he could do without the mass marketing of HBO and still make an equivelent profit.

That's where the price came in. He was able to cut the cost of the executives, marketers, DRM licensing fees and basically all the chaff associated with selling your rights through the big studios. It's not over yet, either. 200k profit in a few days is just the start, in the long game the question of will he make more money this way or through HBO will be answered.



Part of the problem IS the price of other comparable products, especially in this economy.  It's a lot easier to sell something when the price is somewhere in the realm of the overall worth of the media, and not just an arbitrary price point set based on what said media happens to be. 



and I will continue to support this business model with my wallet.



As soon as I had seen that he released his show for $5 DRM-free, I was one of the first to go and download it. I fully support this business model, because not only did it support him directly, I also got a copy that I can do anything with.

I don't know how well this will catch on in the long run, people may just decide they don't want to pay the $5 at all and start looking for it online, but it certainly looks better than $20 and a load of crap to sift through. Just the other day when I loaded up the new X-men movie on DVD, I had to sit through 15 minutes of previews and couldn't skip them. When the disc skipped and I had to eject it to stop the disc, I had to watch the ads again. Yeah, there's another reason people pirate stuff...



Don't forget the mandatory FBI warning everyone on the entire planet has seen at least 220 times by now and you still cannot skip past. Imagine you are a 3 year old girl. You want to watch your Dora video. 3 year olds are notoriously impatient. Isn't this a form of child abuse?



I really enjoy this guy's shows AND I hate DRM, so this is such a WIN for only $5. Just bought a copy.





Hg Dragon

Kevin Smith did something similar with "Red State." Distributed it himself, took it on tour to local theaters for screenings and Q&A's, released to VOD and DVD/Blu-Ray the same day. Made back the small budget super-fast and the rest is profit.



standing ovasion



Man, I hope this business model catches on... 5 bucks well spent

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