Thursday, 15 December 2011

Louis CK

Louis CK decided to self produce, release and distribute his latest video for $5/copy. He released the video last Sunday, December 10, and has thus far sold 110 000 copies. So far he has earned less than he would have if he just had some big company produce the video, and, obviously he has put far more effort into it than he would have had he just had a big company produce it, but, the advantage is that he was able to sell the video for a lot less money, users would have had to purchase an "encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use". He made decent money, and he still owns the rights to the material. 

This should be the value add of the internet, i.e., elimination of the middleman in terms of distribution. And CK's experience should be encouraging for all artists. When you don't treat your customer as an adversary and offer quality things to them at a reasonable price, people will pay real money for digital content on the internet even if those things would be cheaper/free via bittorrent or by grabbing a copy from a friend. 

Update: Write up in the Globe and Mail

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