Louis C.K. is a popular comedian with a hit show on FX and a resume that includes writing jokes for David Letterman, Dana Carvey, and Conan O’Brien. A little more than a week ago, C.K. released a videographer Chicago recording of his Live at the Beacon Theater Show as a $5, non-DRM download. Essentially giving people a product they can do anything with, but politely asking consumers not to pirate it. According to a blog post on his site, C.K. has been pleased with the results so far.
I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked. If anybody stole it, it wasn’t many of you.
C.K.’s achievement is a great case study on the power and potential of independent video production and distribution. Rather than using a big name production company, videographer Chicago or distributor, C.K. directed the show himself and hired camera operators and other production assistants. Then he offered the recording on his own website, essentially overseeing the video’s distribution and directly collecting all the funds himself. as of last week, the comedian’s digital distribution strategy earned him $500,000.
Since the video and show consists of C.K. telling jokes to an audience, he obviously couldn’t do the entire project himself, and he enlisted the help of some experienced production staffers to help bring the project to life. The point is, with some vision and work-ethic, just about anyone can create and find an audience for video content. Have some trust in people and they just might surprise you.
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