Thanks to comedian Louis C.K., the business of comedy is undergoing rapid changes. Who controls the distribution of content in the niche is being turned on its head.
We wrote about Mr. C.K. just the other day here on TNW, noting the success of his method to help end ticket scalping by implementing his own sales system – and rules. If you bought a ticket to one of his shows, and try to sell it for a higher price, the ticket is canceled. End of story. Scalping is down over 90% due to the system.
However, the ticketing ploy isn’t Louis’s first use of technology to change the comedy landscape; he previously made headlines by self-releasing a comedy special, selling it for a flat $5, without DRM. It was a massive success, selling more than 200,000 units.
Other comedians, such as Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan followed in those footsteps. Now, a new website, Lolflix, wants to allow even more folks to sell their specials for $5, sans DRM. LaughSpin, who discovered the site, explains its goals:
LOLFlix allows users to stream or download stand-up specials that were originally produced for Showtime, and now Scott Montoya, the longtime comedy producer behind it all, is beginning to work alongside comedians to produce original specials as well.
So, extant content is being sold, and new, fresh content is on the way. Sounds great, right? Well, there are a few issues that may stick. To begin, the site take a fat cut, up to 50%, of revenues. This is quite different than what Louis C.K. did, by producing the entire affair himself; he wasn’t in business with anyone else for a slice of the pie approaching half. Also, some are protesting that the website forces users to create accounts, something that C.K. did not.
From Reddit user Iggyhopper:
Isn’t this just another middleman in a new form? Sign up with a lolflix account? How ’bout no. Louis CK required one thing to enter: your email.
Still, those bumps aside, the website, if it can attract a sufficiently large userbase, could help smaller comedians make a few bucks, and perhaps produce their own hour long set. And that would be nothing but a good thing.
NEW YORK (AP) — Louis C.K.’s gambit to sell tickets to his comedy shows himself is paying off.
The comedian said Wednesday that after just 45 hours, his tour has sold 100,000 tickets and taken in $4.5 million in sales. He’s bypassing ticketing services like Ticketmaster to sell tickets only on his website.
On Monday, he began selling tickets for $45 without fees. His 39-city stand-up tour kicks off in October.
After announcing the results, he tweeted: “I guess it was a good idea.”
Louis C.K. previously sold downloads to his special “Live at the Beacon” for $5, a move that was widely hailed and has since been imitated by other comics. It made more than $1 million in 12 days.
His FX show “Louie” debuts its third season Thursday.
Head over to FX’s Louie site to watch available episodes.
Louis C.K. will have a BRAND NEW special on his website for streaming or downloading on December 10th. It’s only $5 via PayPal. This special WILL NOT be on TV or DVD as far as I know. Louis has stated he doesn’t want to deal with television companies when he can do it himself. So on December 10, 2011 head over to louisck.net and watch or download this special! It features all new stand up material. I guess we can consider this Louis’s holiday gift to us!
The latest news in the world of Louis C.K. is a new comedy special. This special will only be available for viewing on his website on December 10 for $5 streaming or download.
Louis C. K., the star and creator of the FX series “Louie,” said in an interview with Mr. O’Brien that his upcoming concerts at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan on Nov. 10 would be recorded and then posted in an edited version on his Web site, louisck.net, on Dec. 10 where it can be viewed for a cost of $5.
Asked in a phone interview on Friday morning why he was not bringing the special to a traditional cable television network, Louis C. K. said: “To me, I flip the question over: Why should I go through a cable network when I can just give it directly to the people who want to see it? It’s so much easier, and it’s an interesting experiment.”
Louis C. K. has been featured in the standup specials “Shameless,” which ran on HBO in 2007, and the Emmy Award-nominated “Chewed Up,” which appeared on Showtime in 2008. His most recent standup show, “Hilarious,”was presented at the Sundance Film Festival and picked up by the Epix cable channel, earning him two more Emmy nominations.
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