The Louis CK no DRM experiment breaks even

A few days ago, stand-up comedian Louis C.K. launched an experiment on his own involving self-distributing one of his shows. He invested his own money to fund the distribution and the ticket buyers to fund the show. He then made the show available for purchase and download without any DRM or regional restrictions, essentially nothing to keep people from torrenting every showing but one.

You can download the show, Louis CK: Live at the Beacon, for your own entertainment for $5 fromĀ

Updating us on the “experiment”, Louis posted some of the numbers he had been crunching for expenses and profits. Overall, it seems to be a success with the sale still going on and him retaining all of the rights as creator instead of selling it to a bigger company. It might not be as much as he would have been paid by a larger distributor but the numbers are still adding up.

You can read his statement on the same site you can buy the video, although you might be better copying it into a text editor or highlighting it all for readability sake.

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. 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.

Categories : Business
Posted by Jason Hamilton | December 14, 2011  |  No Comment

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