Release Early And Often: Louis CK Realizes He Can Keep Selling Other Digital Downloads
from the rethinking-the-mindset dept
We’ve talked a lot about Louis CK’s massively successful experiment in selling a comedy special direct to fans at a low price with no DRM and (most importantly) being totally open and human about the experience. In response, a few other comedians, like Jim Gaffigan and Aziz Ansari, have basically done the same thing.
However, it looks like Louis CK (like lots of smart, creative artists we write about) is hardly resting on his laurels. He’s realized that there’s nothing that says he has to only sell this one video and then wait a year or more until another one is ready. He’s got the platform, so he might as well sell stuff. A few publications have noticed that he put up another live album (audio only) for the same price using the same system. But in looking at Louis’ site, it looks like he’s actually put up two additional albums — the audio version of his HBO special Shameless (previously only available as video) and a Carnegie Hall tour show that’s never been released.
Both of these were released with basically no fanfare or no announcement other than a brief tweet.
It will be interesting to see what happens here. First of all, some may feel that audio only offerings don’t have quite as much value as video — though it still seems like a decent price. Others may not be as interested in “old” material, even if it hasn’t been released in this format. Also, I wonder what impact there will be for the low-key release. Part of the reason that the original got so much attention was the way he put himself out there: announcing this “big” new thing, doing an AMA on Reddit, etc. Whereas this is just him putting it up. Of course, similarly, there may be some concern of “oversaturation,” where people feel they just gave Louis money for that other thing, so is it worth paying up again?
However, I also like the idea that he’s combing the archives and finding other stuff that people might be interested in and giving them choices for more things they may want to buy to support him. I think that it’s helpful to break out of the somewhat traditional mindset of “I release this album/show and then I’m done for a while.” Louis seems to still be thinking about what else he can do, and I’m sure that will lead to some interesting ideas.
I’m not sure how all these factors and variables play together — and I have no idea if Louis will ever share the results so that the rest of the world can learn with him (though I hope he is willing to do so). I do still love the fact that he’s continuing to try things though.