Louis CK's 'Experiment' Brings In 110k Sales, $550k Gross, Over $200k Net... In Four Days

from the nice-work-if-you-can-get-it dept

So that was fast. Yesterday we wrote about comedian Louis CK's experiment in direct to fan sales, offering up his latest comedy special for a simple, convenient $5 download with no DRM (and also being human and polite in talking about it). All we've been hearing since the sale went up on Saturday was about how everyone's buying it, and it appears plenty of people were curious how it was going. Louis has put up a statement explaining all of the results in pretty great detail. However, before we get to the numbers, he makes a really good point at the beginning. He points out that originally he had no plan to share the results, and that it's natural to try to hoard such information. But somewhere along the way, he realized something really important: people aren't just interested in buying his work, they're buying because they're interested in the experiment as well:
It's been 4 days. A lot of people are asking me how it's going. I've been hesitant to share the actual figures, because there's power in exclusive ownership of information. What I didn't expect when I started this was that people would not only take part in this experiment, they would be invested in it and it would be important to them. It's been amazing to see people in large numbers advocating this idea. So I think it's only fair that you get to know the results. Also, it's just really cool and fun and I'm dying to tell everybody. I told my Mom, I told three friends, and that wasn't nearly enough. So here it is.
This reminds me of Andy Richard's thoughts on transparency, and how that helps connect fans even closer. It's all something of a virtuous circle, it seems. Do cool experiments, be awesome, be polite... and be transparent. And people will want to support you.

On to the numbers. I love the fact that Louis didn't just reveal the topline revenue, but walked through the expenses as well:
First of all, this was a premium video production, shot with six cameras over two performances at the Beacon Theater, which is a high-priced elite Manhattan venue. I directed this video myself and the production of the video cost around $170,000. (This was largely paid for by the tickets bought by the audiences at both shows). The material in the video was developed over months on the road and has never been seen on my show (LOUIE) or on any other special. The risks were thus: every new generation of material I create is my income, it's like a farmer's annual crop. The time and effort on my part was far more than if I'd done it with a big company. If I'd done it with a big company, I would have a guarantee of a sizable fee, as opposed to this way, where I'm actually investing my own money.

The development of the website, which needed to be a very robust, reliable and carefully constructed website, was around $32,000. We worked for a number of weeks poring over the site to make sure every detail would give buyers a simple, optimal and humane experience for buying the video. I edited the video around the clock for the weeks between the show and the launch.
For what it's worth, Louis is pretty famous in comedy circles for his ability to come out with an entirely new "hour" of (amazing, brilliant, hysterical) content each year -- and once he's put that into a special or a video or an album, he never performs that stuff again. Lots of other comics will reuse old material or it takes them a lot longer to develop an hour of material, but as he explains here, he views it almost as if he's a farmer and this is his crop. So it definitely was a risk to do things this way, but certainly a calculated and not a particularly crazy risk.

Okay, let's jump down to the bottom line:
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.
I'd actually argue that he did much better than he explains as his net here -- because he already admitted that the cost of production was paid for by tickets sold to those shows. So by not counting profits until he's covered the cost of production, he seems to be doubling the revenue needed to cover production. This makes the results even better than what he suggests.

And while he says that the $200k (which, again, I think miscalculates the actual bottom line) is "less" than he would have been paid if he'd simply sold the show, there are a few other mitigating factors, beyond what he lists above. He focuses on how it would be worse for the fans. But I'll take it a step further and suggest that going that path would have been worse for Louis as well. First, this isn't done yet. While there's definitely a huge spike in sales at the beginning, and it will only go down from there, I wouldn't be surprised to see a decently long tail of support here. Second, and more importantly, this whole experiment -- including the transparency here -- likely has both widened his fan base considerably (even though it was already quite large) and, more importantly, deepened their loyalty to him.

In other words, it may not make as much now, but chances are this pays off even greater sums down the road. Many of the people who found out about this and bought the download are likely now to be more interested in watching his TV show, seeing him live or purchasing future specials that he releases like this (or in new, even more creative, ways). In other words, by doing this kind of experiment, by being polite, awesome and human... and then being transparent about this, it's likely that his earning power from these efforts only grows. That's pretty cool.

Two final thoughts on this, as responses to a couple of the common arguments we hear from folks who can't get their minds past the traditional business model. First up, we always hear claims that "people won't buy stuff if they can get it illegally for free." It would seem that iTunes, Netflix and many other examples have long proven that false, but here's another example.

Second, just last week, we discussed the claim by some that people who pirate do so because they claim that "all artists are rich." I still have never heard that argument used by people who download unauthorized content, though I guess it's entirely possible that some have made such a ridiculous argument. But I actually think Louis CK's success here (not unlike Trent Reznor's success with various business model experiments) shows how off-base that is. By any imaginable standard, Louis is doing okay for himself. But, nearly every comment I've read from folks who paid their $5 (like myself) to happily download and support Louis, is that they're all freaking thrilled beyond belief that he's brought in this much cash from this experiment.

I'm sure there may be some resentful jerks out there, but as Louis himself noted, the people who chose to buy are invested in this experiment and want it to succeed. No one begrudges Louis the money he's making from all of this because we all feel he's earned it. And it's not that he earned it by locking it up, screaming about "pirates" and using a legal sledge hammer to attack fans -- but he's earned it by being polite, by being awesome and by being human. It's a lesson a lot of other content creators still need to learn.


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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    It ends up in the same place: He is famous enough to pull it off, and rich enough to take a loss doing it. As he said, he could have sold the show to someone else, and they could have sold it and he would have made a ton more money. Moreover, he would have probably been in a position for this show to be sold on to PPV, or to cable networks, etc.

    Right now, because he has released it in the wild, he gets a short sales bump (as "real fans" buy it), but in a few weeks, it's old news and almost gone, with little long term residual value. It won't be in stores, it won't be resold, and it won't be released in different markets over time.

    I suspect he did exactly what Radiohead did a few years ago - they experimented, and found out that while it's nice, it isn't anywhere near as profitable as doing it the "old fashioned way".

     

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      rubberpants, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:42am

      Re:

      So, if the old fashioned way is still really profitable, why do we need SOPA?

       

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        John Doe, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Rubberpants with a TKO in the first round.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

        Re: Re:

        Because, remarkably, only 50% of the people pirate.

        Keep trying. Mike will give you a shiny plastic bobble or a limited edition "I licked Mike's Butt" t-shirt for your efforts.

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, rubberpants has you on this one. You yourself said that the new way "isn't anywhere near as profitable as doing it the 'old fashioned way'." Well, the new way is profitable, so the old way must be way the hell profitable, so new laws aren't needed.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You have a reading comprehension problem. He didn't say it wasn't profitable, he said it "isn't anywhere near as profitable as doing it the 'old fashioned way'."

            And he's right.

            Now if piracy wasn't an issue, he could make as much, and likely more from DIY.

            As it is, he is someone with an expensive lifestyle by most standards, and he will end up returning to a source that will pay him more... The "evil MAFIAA".

             

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              Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You might want to re-read my comment, you seem to have missed what I said. I didn't accuse him of saying the new way wasn't profitable, I accused him of saying the old way is way the hell profitable (and you agreed with him). So, if the old way is still doing wonders for those making money from them (AKA not the artists) then why are new laws needed?

              Basically, I'm saying that piracy isn't a problem for anyone. Hopefully that was simple enough for you to understand.

              As for anyone's life style, that's not of my business nor is it any of yours.

               

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              rubberpants, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm glad you're finally willing to admit that SOPA isn't about "protecting the artists" or "saving a dying industry" or "protecting the troops" or some other carefully-crafted talking-point, but is simply a money-grab. I agree.

              And your evaluation of Louis C.K. as someone who is primarily motivated by greed seems like projection to me.

               

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          Berenerd (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          He more than doubled his money, you stated that doing it the old way was way more profitable...so 2 questions...way more profitable to who and as rubberpants said, if they are more than doubling their money or better as you states, SOPA must not be needed?

           

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      hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      " As he said, he could have sold the show to someone else, and they could have sold it and he would have made a ton more money."

      Actually he says the opposite "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."

      He would have made the same amount of money or less money. It would have costs fans 4x as much money. And the company he sold the rights to would have made a bunch of money and continue to make that money forever, as opposed to him making the money forever.

      "Moreover, he would have probably been in a position for this show to be sold on to PPV, or to cable networks, etc."

      He could still do that if its something that interests him. He owns all the rights to the show still since he didn't involve any outside firms.

      "but in a few weeks, it's old news and almost gone, with little long term residual value."

      citation needed. There is no reason this will not continue to sell. Surely not with the same gusto as this openeing weekend but as his website grows and he offers more things for sale, people will keep showing up and people who didn't buy this show now, or not aware of it, can buy it in the future.

      " It won't be in stores, it won't be resold, and it won't be released in different markets over time."

      no it will always be availble on his website, no costs to reprint, no costs to buy back unsold merch. and fuck your stupid ass release windows.

      "I suspect he did exactly what Radiohead did a few years ago - they experimented, and found out that while it's nice, it isn't anywhere near as profitable as doing it the "old fashioned way"."

      Again, since he expressly said he made more money then he would have if he did the show "the old fashioned way" Im not sure why you keep making this shit up. Not to mention he made more money in 4 days and will continue to make money and own the rights forever.

      Your weak lies and misleading statements are weak and misleading.

       

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        hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        "Your weak lies and misleading statements are weak and misleading."

        Wait a minute....are you Chris Dodd?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

        Re: Re:

        "Actually he says the opposite "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."

        He would have made the same amount of money or less money."

        Huh? He said the experiment way made him less. Selling it would have made him more.

        Please try reading more closely!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In four days. He now has another ~125 years (thanks copyright) to continue to sell this work. Though as you said, there is no reason for copyright to last that long.

          I will state with 99.999% certainty that he will make more money over the long run than he would have the "old way".

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Plus there is also the price differential to take into account. Assuming everyone who paid $5 would gladly have shelled out $20, he'd have made quadruple the profit by charging more.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Read it again - he would have sold it for X to someone and made more money than he is making now. End. It doesn't matter about sales, just the up front money would be more than he is making now.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It would be more than he made in 4 days, the thing is still for sale and he has to invest no more money (except a small amount to keep funding bandwidth) so he didn't make as much money upfront but will probably make more in the long run. Is the long run 1 week, 2 months, 3 years who knows?

                 

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          hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh youre right I was mixing up that statement. But I agree with guy above me, its less in 4 days lets see in two weeks let alone 2 years.

          I stand by the rest of my post. Except the insults at the end we can jsut aim those at me for being stupid.

           

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          Bengie, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's only been four days, give it another year and we'll see if he made more.

           

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        pegr, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Add to that, he's making money NOW, not after some creative accounting that gyps him out of his due. He's banking every dollar as it's paid. That is AWESOME.

         

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        mattarse (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:58pm

        Re: Re:

        Maybe I missed it, but I don't think he ever said he wouldn't sale the rights to some company to print DVD's and put it into stores, or let netflix rent it out. In stores might be a hard sale - who wants to buy a dvd when you can get it for $5, but netflix and other streaming services would be a no brainer.

        I think in the future he should do these things as it will only help him to increase the long term revenue.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 12:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          DRM-free DVD for three bucks?

           

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          Cap'n Jack (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 9:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          mattarse, it is entirely possible he'd license it out to Netflix (in fact, he really ought to), but he'd still have complete ownership. No one would have any issue with that. He will probably only do that when online sales trickle down enough. He's probably still making some money on it, so that doesn't make sense.

          He already released DVD covers on his web site, so he may sell DVDs as well, but nothing you mention is him "selling the rights", only licensing out his product.

           

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      PRMan, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:41pm

      Re:

      Radiohead never made $6m on all their previous albums put together. So I would venture to say the new way is "way more profitable".

       

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

      Re:

      Gee, and where did that magic number of 50% come from?

      I thought you'd been saying it was everyone, but I'll have to revise that. It's only half of the human race.

      Of course it's still for sale on line next year, it'll get another bump in sales, as people discover him it'll sell, all the same things that MIGHT happen in the "old fashioned way".

      Oh and sneaky how you got the famous and rich bit in there.

      Has it occurred to you that most bands, for example, end up OWING the label money unless the thing sells incredibly well? Didn't think so. So while you carry on about how he can afford to take the loss factor that one in.

      So what you're actually saying is that he can't take advantage of an antiquated supply chain to the customer,slow release across different markets, re-releases until a lot of copies end up in a remainder bin.

      Sure he could have ended up making more more quickly the ways you seem to approve of. He even says that in a far less condescending way. But I forget, you're the expert here not the comic and certainly not me. Nor does that rule out PPV or cable or syndication. I'm not even sure it diminishes the value there as there are a great many people who don't download movies, music or other forms of entertainment either because they can't be bothered, don't have internet connections or some such similar thing or they happen to think it's wrong.

      And remember that this is a check in after 4 days and the video is still on sale. Nothing in the article indicates that it's over now or that it doesn't remain available for people to purchase.

      Still, at the end of the day I suspect will end up with some hybrid of what this man's done here and what Radiohead and Trent Razor has done, many starting and indie bands do and something more akin to the traditional sales channels. What is irreparably gone, though is the recording industry's singular control over those channels. The same will be true for the motion picture industry which isn't just MPAA members.

      None of that fits in with how you perceive it ought to be done so it MUST be just WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

      The only one wrong here is you. The world's changing, the number of ways artists can release their works has changed and will continue to change no matter how much you dislike it.

       

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      Sarah, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 6:13pm

      Re:

      Except Radiohead gave the option of paying 0 dollars which is exactly what myself and many others were willing to pay when given that choice.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

      Re:

      @Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:35am

      You clearly misread it. He made MORE money doing it this way.

       

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    hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    "I'd actually argue that he did much better than he explains as his net here -- because he already admitted that the cost of production was paid for by tickets sold to those shows. So by not counting profits until he's covered the cost of production, he seems to be doubling the revenue needed to cover production. This makes the results even better than what he suggests."

    While I get what you are saying I don't entirely agree. If he had just done that show and not made a video of it the ticket money would have been his profits. So after turning around and investing that in the movie that money needs to be recouped again before you can start counting profits.

     

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      Nathan F (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      So he should have settled for just under $170K from the ticket sales alone and not even bothered trying to make more off it?

       

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        hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

        Re: Re:

        No no no. I just have issue with this "So by not counting profits until he's covered the cost of production, he seems to be doubling the revenue needed to cover production."

        Its not entirely true because if he had made the show without filming and releasing it he would have made that money as profit. He then turns around and invests that money in the video, so those are production costs that need to be recouped before you start counting profits. While Mike is saying that investment should not be subtracted because it was technically paid for by the live show audience. But that was already his money and he could have walked away with it.

        Not saying he should have walked away with it, or this was a bad investment or anything like that. I am just saying I agree with the way Louie adds it up and do not agree with Mike's math/logic.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Correct. The only way Masnick's math would work would be if Louis had held shows as benefits or fundraisers to finance the video.

          But he didn't; the shows he did were his profit, and he invested his own money into the video.

          I'm happy there are people that paid for it for sure. But as someone above pointed out, this will likely be like the Radiohead experiment, because as Louis pointed out, the work involved for him to put this together was staggering and he didn't make as much money as he would have if he had simply teamed up with the usual partners; i.e. the evil MAFIAA (sic).

          And the statement that people will simply take something if they can get it for free illegally without anyone stopping them, stands: many more people will end up viewing this that didn't pay, than those that did pay.

          So there is real conflation going on here.

          The experiment that he did does not require piracy to succeed. It is a natural advantage given by the internet. If piracy enforcement is in effect, he can still do the same thing, and would likely make far more money.

          It is piracy that makes the experiment less profitable for him, less profitable than simply taking a large advance from a MAFIAA (sic) company.

          This isn't a victory for the free-stuff crowd, it is a victory for the internet as a medium.

          Once again here on Techdirt, we see an attempt to tie the pig (piracy) to the princess (the internet).

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "as Louis pointed out, the work involved for him to put this together was staggering and he didn't make as much money as he would have if he had simply teamed up with the usual partners; i.e. the evil MAFIAA (sic)."

            The work was staggering because Louie likes to control everything himself, he directs he edits ect, he could easily hire someone to do it, he prefers to do it himself.

            He made less money so far, 4 days into sales. I would be surprised if this didn't net him more in the long run, but I dont know what he would have been paid to do the special (other than its more than 200K)

            "Once again here on Techdirt, we see an attempt to tie the pig (piracy) to the princess (the internet)."

            you are the first one connecting the two. If internet piracy didnt exist, people would and could still burn it to DVDs and share, watch it with friends who did not buy it ect.

            "This isn't a victory for the free-stuff crowd, it is a victory for the internet as a medium."

            Yeah, also a victory for the "you don't need giant middlemen to have a successful product" crowd the "respecting your audience and releasing things cheaply w/o DRM is good" crowd
            and a big blow to the "you need the MPAA + legacy distribution channels crowd"

            "this will likely be like the Radiohead experiment,"

            i doubt it. He already said on reditt he bought a fancy new camera for his production company. He also says he considers this a success. I imagine we will see more videos from louie sold on his website in the future, as well the other stuff he mentions he plans to sell on there. Not to mention I could see him hiring out his production company to other comedians and letting them make shows to sell on their own websites, or through his.

            Really only time will tell. But since he considers this a success I dont see why he wouldn't do it again in the future. Yes he would have made more money up front the old school way but he considers a better price for his fans a win, he considers owning the rights himself a win, and he considers owning his own distribution channel and production company a win. I doubt he dissolves the website and his company and goes back to screwing his fans and giving up his ownership of his shows for more money upfront, but hey crazier shit has happened.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I agree with that.

          The $250K is profit he would have made with or without the video.

          Think of it this way. If he didn't have that $250K, he would have had to borrow it. Since he did have the money, you could say he basically loaned himself $170K for the video, and $32K. That money has to be "paid back" (except in this case he is "paying" himself back instead of a bank).

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 5:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It really all depends on what end result was intended.

            If two separate operations then yes, the money he made from the shows was then reinvested into selling the vid.

            If the intention was to release a dvd and profit from doing that then being able to finance the making of the vid from making the vid is fantastic.
            Imagine if Star Wars had been made and the vast bulk of its production costs were made before the first showing of the movie. Movie execs must hate standups.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

      Re:

      Wrong. Since the costs of the tickets paid for the equipment and operators and place, he netted around 0 for the shows. At least that is what can be taken from the quotes. Or neither a loss or gain from the show. Which is a real possibility every time you sell a live show. If you don't sell enough tickets to make it into the black, that sucks. You try to make money but you are happy if you break even.

      Also since he spent his spare time (between shows etc) doing the editing, his net loss for being unable to do work is also 0. So any money after site costs is pure profit. Now as far as an accountant is concerned, you try and figure in the "Costs" of the video in with the sale of the video. This leads to a lower tax cost for the video. That being the point in doing business taxes. The cost of the video would have been something such as ~5% of the net of the shows. Where as the "cost" if done for the video is closer to %50. Which equals a bigger write off for him.

      Also since the dude is Canadian, do you think he is taking advantage of the poor american dollar and getting the money in Loonies?

       

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        hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

        Re: Re:

        "Since the costs of the tickets paid for the equipment and operators and place, he netted around 0 for the shows."

        Right, the tickets paid for the live show AND everything involved in making the video -operators, equipment ect ect.

        So if he had not made the video and just done a live show he wouldn't have needed equipment and people to operate it ect, so he would have just had to pay the rental fee for the hall and would have profited. So it is right to count that 170,000$ as production costs and subtract it from his profit.

        2 shows without filming a video = profit
        2 shows while filming a video =0$ but a video
        So he invested that money in the video and is right to not count it as profits.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ok, lets make the math a little simpler so that it will be more clear.

          income from 2 shows = $170,000
          expenses for video production = $170,000
          sales of video = $500,000
          other expenses = ~$50,000

          170,000 - 170,000 + 500,000 - 50,000 = $450,000

          You can either count the production cost against the 2 shows or against the video but either way you can't count the production cost twice, which is what you are (and Louis) seem to be doing.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The income from the shows should not go into the math for the video. He does the shows makes 170,000$ thats his money and he walks away. It is profit from the show. End of story not related to making a video.

            He makes a video it costs 170K
            sales of video = $500,000
            other expenses = ~$50,000

            -170,000 + 500,000 - 50,000 = $280,000

            The video and the show are separate things. The show does not depend on the video existing. Nor are the profits from the show related to the video, it is a separate entity.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The income from the shows should not go into the math for the video. He does the shows makes 170,000$ thats his money and he walks away. It is profit from the show. End of story not related to making a video.

              Well, since he did the show in order to film it for the video I would say that they are related.

              Otherwise his production costs would have been more. The only end of story is that he made ~$450,000 and you can say it came from the video or you can say it came from the shows or you can say it came from both but in Louis post it reads as, I did two shows and made a video and my profit is ~$200,000 which is in fact less than half of what was made.

               

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                hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I understand your point. Try looking at it this way.


                Lets say no one bought the video. The video would have been 170K loss. The video and the live show was not a 170K loss. The show was 170K profit the video was a loss. Together it was neutral but he would have known that the video was a failure and not invested anymore ticket money into making videos and he would have been better off taking his show profits and walking away.

                There is no guarantee that the ticket sales will recoup the cost of production. It is silly to look at them as a whole when he could easily just not film his show. He could also just film his routine at home with no audience if he wanted, or a charity event, or a free rooftop show ect ect. He should not going forward look at the two as one source of revenue he has to evaluate the live shows and the video individually.

                He made 170K from performing live.
                He made 200K from the video.
                He made 370K from both.

                It would be disingenuous to say the video made him 370 when he could have just not made the video and still profited 170K.

                 

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            hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Live Show:
            Costs to rent hall= X
            Ticket Revenu= Y
            Y-X=Show profits=170,000

            Video
            Cost to produce= 170,00
            Profits=500,000
            Cost of Website+other=50K
            Profit from video=280,000

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Let's pretend he didn't fund his own production and instead had some investors that gave him the seed money.

            Looking at revenue vs. expenses we have this...

            $500,000 (revenue) - $170,000 (production) - $50,000 (website) = $280,000

            Now, let's pay back the investors...

            $280,000 (gross profit) - $170,000 (seed money) = $110,000.

            Maybe I'm missing something, but you can be that if I lent him $170,000 to produce the video I'd want that money back.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              you are double counting the investment

              "Looking at revenue vs. expenses we have this...

              $500,000 (revenue) - $170,000 (production)[seed money, subtracting it here would be paying it back] - $50,000 (website) = $280,000

              Now, let's pay back the investors...[you did since you subtracted their seed money and called it production above]

              $280,000 (gross profit) = $280,000."

              The seed money is the production money, You don't subtract it twice.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                of course the investors would have wanted a return on the investment too so it would have been more than they invested

                 

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        Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Also since the dude is Canadian, do you think he is taking advantage of the poor american dollar and getting the money in Loonies?

        Louis CK was born in Washington, grew up in Mexico and lives (I believe) in New York. Where did you get Canada from?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    "I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked. If anybody stole it, it wasn't many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it. "

    The AA's debunked again! Oh Nooes!

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Got a torrent?

    I wouldn't be surprised to see a decently long tail of support here.

    Nor would I, since I haven't been able to reach his site in two days of trying.

     

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      hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:53am

      Re: Got a torrent?

      Really? I have had no problems, buying the video, reading the statement ect. nor have anyone I talked to. In fact the video downloaded surprisingly fast. Maybe something you run in your browser is fucking it up?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

      Re: Got a torrent?

      I've had problems getting on his site in the last few days as well (and I tried w/ Chrome, Firefox and even IE). Most of my friends, however, have not had a problem. I was able to download the video before this problem, but I wasn't able to get to the statement today.

       

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    miatajim (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Never watched him before that I know. Just went and spent $5.00 to download it and watch it. Nice DL speed BTW 10MB/Sec.

     

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

      Re:

      Never watched him before that I know.

      I'd certainly like to see him on stage in the comedy club in my area. I had seen him before on Comedy Central, but after reading about him the last couple weeks he jumped up on my list of people I would spend good money to see in person. I believe Mike is right -- the long chain is what is really interesting here -- I wonder how many more people will crowd the comedy clubs after this brilliant marketing effort.

       

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    For what it's worth

    I've never heard of this guy before. I didn't read the first article posted here. But I like comedy, and I'm much more likely to take the risk on a new comedian at $5 then at $20. Is this guy on Youtube? I want to make sure it's my kind of comedy before I buy.

     

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      xenomancer (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:58am

      Re: For what it's worth

      Ya, search his name and you'll find plenty of clips of him. I find his rant on his daughter asking "why?" particularly hilarious.

       

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      hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:58am

      Re: For what it's worth

      Plenty of his stuff is on youtube, his TV show is also a good indicator for his comedy so you might check if thats on netflix or on-demand through your cable company.

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

        Re: Re: For what it's worth

        He's on Netflix? Sweet. I've got an upgrade scheduled for today that's going to involve several hours of thumb twiddling, I know what I'm doing.

         

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          hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: For what it's worth

          Yeah I jsut checked. Show is Louie (2010). He had a show called Lucky Louie back in like 2006, which wasn't as good most likely because he didnt have as much control as he does with his new show (he writes, edits, directs and even did some of the camera work for the new one). One of his specials Louie C.K.: Chewed Up is available for streaming too. Enjoy your hours of laughs

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:59am

      Re: For what it's worth

      Yes there is a lot of his stuff on Youtube, also on netflix.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

      Re: For what it's worth

      He's got some bits on you tube, but he creates a new act every year. You won't see any of that material here. His theme is dark comedy, mixed with bits of how he is a bad person. It's really funny.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

      Re: For what it's worth

      But surely you won't buy it if you can just rip off his material from that dastardly pirate pit that is youtube!

       

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    xenomancer (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Purchased

    And now I'm downloading it.

    From his site.

    "Legally."

    Cwf + Rtb = ftw

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

      Re: Purchased

      Ditto. I've seen a bit of his work before and I liked it a lot, and I really like what he's doing here.

       

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    bob, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

    PAYWALL!

    Once again, I would like to welcome this club of very agile minds to their glorious defense of the paywall. You want to hear his jokes, you've got to pay. There's no tip jar. There are no free samples And not 99 cents or any AppStore sized price, but $5, a Mercedes-like price online. Whoo hoo!

    And he's not being shy about imposing legal restrictions. While Apple lets me move my songs to 5 machines, he's limiting his video to "two compatible download devices. "

    Notice the irony. There are people here complaining that his site doesn't work and a torrent would be easier. Normally that would be a cue for Mike to start scolding the man and telling him that it's his fault that people are forced to pirate. Mike could blame him for not adapting to the latest server platform or something else. But for some reason he doesn't.

    Oh well. I can't meditate on this too much. I'm just waiting for this site to embrace the paywalls put in place by the major studios.

    I'm willing to bet that (1) he issues his first real DMCA takedown notice within a month and (2) he signs with a major company within two months. Just a guess.

     

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      hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

      Re: PAYWALL!

      Bob you are retarded.

      "There are no free samples"

      except the free 5 minute video on the front page. Not to mention all the free shit he has on youtube(because he doesnt DCMA stuff people put up, and netflix.

      "And not 99 cents or any AppStore sized price, but $5, a Mercedes-like price online"

      Hilarious. So 1/4 the price of what it would cost in stores is Mercedes like? Since you compare it to a 99 cent download, lets see the average song is 2 minutes and this is just about an hour so if you do the math.... But yeah no your right its like a mercedes.

      "While Apple lets me move my songs to 5 machines, he's limiting his video to "two compatible download devices."

      Again Hilarious. He lets you move your songs to as many machines as you want BECAUSE THERE ARE NO RESTRICTIONS. You download it once and can move it to 1 million devices if it so pleases you. The download is yours, burn it transfer it whatever. Also its 3 downloads and two live streams.

      "Notice the irony"

      there isnt irony Bob, there is you not understanding the arguments, technology or how any of this works and misconstruing everything to attack a succesful venture outside the standard model you love so much even though it failed you horribly.

      "he signs with a major company within two months."

      To do what?'

      Bob your willfully stupid or just stupid im not sure which

       

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        bob, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

        Re: Re: PAYWALL!

        Wow! I'm not attacking this at all. I'm welcoming the further success of the paywall model-- something I've long contended was necessary because ads won't pay the bills. Now I have no idea what's the "standard model" that you refer to-- it could be anything around here-- but charging cash on the barrelhead is pretty standard around my office.

        And do some reading. A "free sample" around here isn't 5 minutes long. That's called "cutting off" customers. A "free sample" is putting the ENTIRE thing on YouTube and the torrent networks while waiting for the tip jar to fill up. That's the magic model that Mike promised us would work.

        How many times have we heard that you've got to give the entire thing away? When the Onion experimented with cutting off people after reading 5 stories, whoo boy did Mike sneer at them:

        http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110808/17141315444/disappointing-onion-tests-paywall.shtml

        And read more carefully. The stuff on the front page "isn't in the special". Nope. He just took some scraps and put them online. Again, it's like the trailer that the major movie studios distribute.

        And you can go on believing but I'm just happy that Mike isn't scolding Louis CK and telling him that he would be better off adding more features to his site like he told the NY Times after they set up a paywall.

        http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110721/19193015201/greatest-trick-nytimes-ever-pulled-was-con vincing-world-its-paywall-exists.shtml

        Maybe the other couch potatoes around here will listen to Louis CK talking about money-- he wants to have "shitloads of money"-- because I think he's fairly sensible. As he says, money can be like energy -- something that the major studios know when they pay money to fund their employees health care.

        And I like how everyone just assumes that Louis CK is being polite and not going to sue any jerks. You might want to read the terms and conditions. There are plenty of restrictions. You can't, for instance, move it to 1 million devices. Nope. The limit is two.

        It's pretty straight-forward legal boilerplate to protect himself from being exploited. It's the kind of stuff that comes right from the legal departments of major studios.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

          "There are plenty of restrictions. You can't, for instance, move it to 1 million devices. Nope. The limit is two. "

          No there is a limit on the times you can download it from Louie(which is 3 not two, you can stream it live twice), there is no limit to the amount of devices you can use it on, the amount of dvds you can burn it to or the amount of times you can watch it. So while you can not download it from him on a million devices you certainly can move it to a million devices.

          Charging for something and a paywall are not the same things.


          "And I like how everyone just assumes that Louis CK is being polite and not going to sue any jerks. "

          because he has a long history of being polite and not sueing jerks

           

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            bob, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

            Well, let's turn to the terms and conditions and quote a few things:

            "Streaming: You may stream purchased videos online through your web browser and through compatible Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes. You may stream the same video to no more than two devices at a time.
            Downloading: You may download the Program to two compatible download devices. After downloading a purchased video, you retain the ability to stream that video as described above."

            Sounds like TWO is the magic number. I don't know where you're getting the number 3 because I can't find the digit or the word "three" anywhere on the terms and conditions.

            And if you think there's no limit on the other things you can do with it, you're sorely mistaken. Read this paragraph. Make sure you get written permission before you start burning DVDs. The word "DVD" is not found on the page and that means it's not permitted.

            "You may not reproduce, duplicate, disseminate, publish or transfer such content or material in any form or by any means by use of any media now in existence or that may be created in the future, except as expressly provided herein or with our prior written permission."

            There seems to be a big gap between your imagination and what Louis CK is really granting.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

              It was originally 2 he changed it to three. I know because I bought it and there is a big note when you get to the page after purchase that the number of downloads is now 3. I guess he hasn't updated that page yet.

              I could ask permission or I could look at the footnote on the front page "No DRM, no regional restrictions, no crap. You can download this file, play it as much as you like, burn it to a DVD, whatever." He put not DRM on their no restrictions built into the file to keep you from transferring it to other devices, burning it to cd, playing it in any video player ect. Trying to make him sound like a bad guy for limiting the amount of bandwidth one person can consume is a big stretch bob.

              There is a limit on the times you can download the video from him Bob. That is not the same as DRM. Trying to make it sound the same and sound as bad is stupid and makes you sound stupid, ignorant and technologically clueless.

               

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                hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

                "As of December 12, noon E.S.T., we raised the download limit from 2 to 3 downloads. Everyone who has already registered an account now has an additional download slot."

                That is a quote from the page you download from. Also on that same page.

                "PLEASE NOTE that you can only stream the film twice AND you can download the film three times. Once you start a stream of the film, your stream will be active for 8 hours. Once you have exceeded your streaming and download limits, you will need to purchase the film again to stream or download it again. However once you have fully downloaded the film, you are of course free to watch it as many times as you like"

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

                  welcome to the paywall. It's a good thing when it isn't a newpaper or some other existing media thing. It's a bad thing when it's companies actually trying to charge for their work.

                  Masnick world is funny sometimes!

                   

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                    Cap'n Jack (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 4:32pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

                    Here's what I don't get about you retarded trolls: who are you trying to convince? There's now way you believe the stupid shit you're saying.

                     

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          jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

          You make a good point, but I think the business model you use for a website that publishes dozens or hundreds of articles a month is going to be much different than a comedian releasing a hour-long video each year. Just because TechDirt chastises publishing sites for paywalls doesn't mean all paywalls are bad. They're just bad for journalism (and fake journalism - which is a more arguable point since what they're offering is entertainment, not news.)

          i.e. a website that I might visit daily requires a different business model than a video I may watch once. I might pay $5 to watch a comedian (definitely not $20) but I'm not going to pay anything for news, not even for the New York Times.

          More than likely, however, I'll just wait for the video to be available on Netflix. While I'm waiting for that to happen, I've got 300 other things to watch there.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

          Once the file is downloaded, you can copy it anywhere you like. You're confused about the difference between downloading something and copying it.

           

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            rubberpants, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

            Really, those are different? Next you're going to tell me if I copy something the original isn't destroyed. You kids and your Internets.

             

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 2:35am

          Re: Re: Re: PAYWALL!

          A "free sample" is putting the ENTIRE thing on YouTube and the torrent networks while waiting for the tip jar to fill up. That's the magic model that Mike promised us would work.

          Um. No. That's actually the model I said was dumb.

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080522/1545021204.shtml

          And more to the point, no model works for everyone. For example, no one wants to give you any money because you're an idiot. No matter what business model you put in place, it's not going to help.

          Seriously, bob, are you always this stupid?

           

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      Cap'n Jack (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

      Re: PAYWALL!

      @bob hey, genius, why don't you take a minute and double check the things you're saying before posting hilarious troll-posts on web sites you don't like?

      There are no free samples And not 99 cents or any AppStore sized price, but $5, a Mercedes-like price online.


      Two 3-minute YouTube videos with clips that have never before been seen? I think that counts as a free sample. Also, since when did everything on the App Store cost 99 cents? Are you on crack?

      I've never used shitty iTunes, but I just did a quick search on the Apple web site, and to purchase a 40-minute show is $3. This seems exactly in line with the iTunes pricing scheme.

      And he's not being shy about imposing legal restrictions. While Apple lets me move my songs to 5 machines, he's limiting his video to "two compatible download devices.


      Do you even understand what DRM is? He gives you two download tickets presumably to save server costs, but you can copy and paste them to any machine you like, infinitely. You can post that exact video on bit torrent, as is, and share it with billions of people. Explain to me in what way that is a restriction.

      Mike to start scolding the man and telling him that it's his fault that people are forced to pirate. Mike could blame him for not adapting to the latest server platform or something else. But for some reason he doesn't.


      Probably because A) Mike has never condoned piracy (by all means, his entire blog is available for you to prove me wrong) and B) Louis acknowledges that piracy is at a minimal. I'm sure there's more he can do to compete against it, but this is an admirable first try.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 1:47am

      Re: PAYWALL!

      Yawn....

      Seriously guys, take a leaf out of Louie CK's book and spend some time getting new material. This is getting old. We've already had the "but this will only work for famous people" skit at the top of the thread, now we get "he's asking for money so it's a paywall" bit. Chinese water torture is less repetitive than you guys.

      If you lazy bastards put half the effort into thinking about what you were saying as you do bashing those keys in your monkey-like way, at least you'd be entertaining. No wonder you fail at thinking of ways to actually sell your products if you have this little imagination.

       

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    DCX2, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

    Any way to buy without paypal?

    I would totally buy this, except I hate paypal and don't want to ever be associated with them in any way.

     

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      hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

      Re: Any way to buy without paypal?

      You don't have to sign up for paypal. You can use it as a one time use thing, no account needed or anything. Basically you have the option to use them like any other payment processor. You just enter your credit card info and they run the card, you do not have to register with them.

       

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        Cap'n Jack (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: Any way to buy without paypal?

        Right, the only person paying Paypal is Louis, and that's happening whether or not you pay for this. But, some people have e-mailed his customer service about this, and apparently, they are implementing other payment options.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 2:16am

          Re: Re: Re: Any way to buy without paypal?

          No... that's not the way it works! You can't listen to customer demands and alter your business accordingly! You have to dictate how, when and where someone can obtain your product, then blame piracy if your first decision fails!

          At least, that's what I learned from the trolls round here...

           

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    First time for everything

    I've never heard of LouisCK before, but this had made me want to visit his web site and purchase his video. I did the same thing with the Humble Bundle game package last year because of the same sort of respect for the user. Even though there were problems with the Linux (I don't use Windoze) version, I still respect HB for their efforts to make their stuff available, and unencumbered, to the community, and will most likely contribute again in the future, if only to encourage them to go forward with this "experiment".

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

      Re: First time for everything

      Don't buy something for principle, buy it because you like it. That's as bad as those people that go out and buy a Prius to "go green" but leave it sitting in the driveway because their Hummer has more room.

       

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        Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

        Re: Re: First time for everything

        Don't buy something for principle, buy it because you like it.

        Yes and no... there are situations where buying on principle is okay, I think.

        Humble Bundle is a good example. I buy every one, with the full knowledge that I won't like all the games - and that there's always a chance I won't like any of the games. But what I do like is a vibrant independent video game industry, because that ecosystem produces lots of games I DO like as well, so I'm eager to support it - partially for selfish "because I like it" reasons, but not always directly. There is a big element of "principle" in my decision to purchase - AND I know that supporting that principle will, in the big picture, lead to more products that I enjoy. What's wrong with that?

        Similarly, the cross-platform principle is a good one to support. As a Mac user, very few games are released for my platform - an even bigger problem for a Linux user like Spiff. Humble Bundle is committed to making all the games available on all three platforms, and that's a principle I hugely support - by contributing, we encourage the industry at large to make a bigger effort to release games for our platforms (especially since Humble shows the average contributions by platform, and Mac & Linux are always much higher than Windows - likely because many users feel exactly as we do)

         

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          ThatAVGuy (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 2:43am

          Re: Re: Re: First time for everything

          +1 to this

          I do exactly the same thing, I may not play every game that HB releases, but I buy them all as well - Because I want to see more Indy games in cross platforms. I am going to make the move from windows to Linux soon, the only thing that has stopped me over the years was the lack of drivers for video cards and the ability to play games

          This is changing (Finally) and I have less reasons to stick with windows these days. I will continue to support anyone with this type of attitude, perhaps one can say that I am buying because of my Like for the principle.

           

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Basically he's proving that he doesn't need a middle man to make a good living. It wasn't that long ago that nobody would be able to do something like this. Whether he could make more or less at this point is irrelevant. He's his own boss, and his fan loyalty will go through the roof.

    Now if we could just get farm subsidies for comedians...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    It's already on the Pirate Bay.

    LOL

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    I applaud him for this experiment. I am not sure if this success will be duplicated by others as I fear some of the attraction to this project was due to the novelty of the direct to fan sales.

    I personally love this concept. Let the people who pay for the production sale directly to the fans. Leave out the middle men - like Apple, Amazon, Neflix, TPB, etc... In the future his production costs will decrease because the web site is already in place. His tech budget will be almost zero.

     

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      AG (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

      Re:

      If everyone sold this way, I'd have no hesitation in downloads like I buy DVDs and CDs.

      I hate this DRM crap.. can't buy from Amazon and play on iPad, can't buy from Apple and play anywhere but Apple hardware. I don't want to re-buy all my content every time I upgrade my gadgets. At least DVD DRM is super easy to remove and CDs don't come with DRM, allowing me to do whatever the hell I want with stuff I've already paid for.

       

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    weneedhelp (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    RIAA math

    because he already admitted that the cost of production was paid for by tickets sold to those shows. So by not counting profits until he's covered the cost of production, he seems to be doubling the revenue needed to cover production.


    See everyone can be tempted by RIAA math.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

      Re: RIAA math

      Jesus dude, he was paid to perform live, do you not think he deserves to be paid for that performance?

      He also worked "continuously" for several weeks on editing the finished project. How much would he have had to spend to pay a professional to edit the video for him? Of course a professional probably could have completed the project in less than one week, but who knows.

      The point is that this project (the video) is a seperate project from the the live performances. You can't count the sales from the tickets (for the live performance) when calculating the success of the video.

      Please tell me you hire an accountant to do your taxes for you. Otherwise I see an audit in your future.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

        Re: Re: RIAA math

        Jokes man, dont get mad at jokes.

         

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        bob, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

        Re: Re: RIAA math

        I think he's eligible to be paid as often as he can. It's the folks around this web site who complain and complain and complain about artists who are repackaging their work in different forms and reselling it. He's doing nothing different from the major studios who force you to pay for a BLU-RAY disk after buying the DVD copy.

        Really. The guy is using old school studio techniques!

         

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    anonymous disenfranchised Dutch coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

    tax

    does he get 75000 after taxes off a 200000 profit? serious taxation! or do my dutch eyes view it wrong?

     

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    WEC, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    I am confused on the money.

    2 shows = 173,000
    He made 173,000.

    Next, he invested this money in the video.

    Total cost 225,000
    Total gross around 500,00

    From that as an investor he gets 173,000.
    As the owner he got over 200,000

    Return on investment 173,000
    Profit over 200,000

    It seems his total net from video and shows is 373,000

    This is using round numbers.

     

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      hothmonster, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

      Re:

      Just because he was the investor doens't mean the money that would go to pay back the investor should be counted toward the videos profits.

      He invested 170,000 in having the video made. Thankfully he made that much in ticket sales so he was able to pay himself back immediately but that still doesn't mean the profit from the live show should be added into the profit from the video they are exclusive revenue streams

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    I love you, man!

    "...give buyers a simple, optimal and humane experience for buying..."

    All I've ever asked for.

     

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    anonymous disenfranchised Dutch coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    money + tax

    he could have stopped with the earnings of the live show and pay his taxes on that. he didn't and invested it all. if it bummed he would have lost all the live show earnings (but no taxes!). it went well however and he gets his money from the investment back + some 200.000 after that break even point. the 200.000 profit before tax is the extra money. Right? But how much tax does he pays on the 200.000?

     

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    anonymous disenfranchised Dutch coward, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    proofs what?

    In short: the experiment proofs that you don't need the middle men anymore, although they still are very usefull. The artist has for the first time a real choice. that is the real profit.

    "I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58)." 37,5 % after tax?? in the USA?

     

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    Scott, Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    $200k Profit

    You assume he made more, but I'm sure that his manager and his agent, each partnered with him on this and get a piece of the action. You also have to consider the overall annual overhead to operate his business and brand, not just the cost of this show alone. He surely has a business manager / accountant, an attorney / IP person, and other ancillary costs attributed to this show.

     

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    AG (profile), Dec 14th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Just an awesome business model...

    This is how I'd like all my content please: Reasonable price, DRM free, play anywhere, no hassle payment and download.

    I bought a copy just to support the model, never seen this man's routine before.

     

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    ThatAVGuy (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 2:28am

    I'm so happy that this is doing well

    Couple of things I would like to see for the next experiment

    1. No download limits - perhaps use bittorrent as a tool for distribution so to decrease the costs involved in the website.

    2. Adding a slider so people could decide what they wanted to pay for it - the minimum being $5 - some people I imagine would be happy to increase this amount

    3. Giving a % to a charity - something similar to the humble bundle model - would be interested to see if this increases how much people are willing to pay (would require that slider though)

    Overall - I'm so happy more people are looking to get away from the old gatekeeper models - be interesting to see how many more sales are made over the next week or two, especially seeing they have added the ability to gift to others... think I might get it for my parents for christmas.

     

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      Cap'n Jack (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 9:14am

      Re:

      I think it sets a bad precedent if every online service starts donating to charity just to make a buck. "If you don't like my stuff, just donate to charity and watch it for free!"

      I don't think that model is particularly useful, since people who aren't interested won't become more interested just because of charitable causes.

      I could see the "slider" being somewhat useful for him, but that doesn't add anything for us. What would be better is the "tiered model", allowing people to get more for paying more. Again, though, I'm not sure he has that much to offer besides the 1 hour skit.

       

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        ThatAVGuy (profile), Dec 24th, 2011 @ 9:30am

        Re: Re:

        I dont think it sets a bad precedent - it's been used by corporations like McDonalds for years (Mcdonalds house etc.) Its just a way to make people think they are doing good by spending more money with you

        Your right it doesn't add anything for us by using a slider - but thats not really the point - He wants to sell his show at a reasonable price, but I think leaving the option to give him more if you think it valuable is not a terrible idea - Unless you believe that we as humans only want to give money if we get something in return.
        But yes, if the main goal was to increase profit then I would agree, offering more at higher price points would probably work, but I don't think thats the image he wants to sell here - he wants it to be available to everyone at a fair rate.

         

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    PaulT (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 2:29am

    I'd be interested in finding out the number of people from previously unserviced markets who are buying this. Personally, I'd heard of Louis CK and I'd heard a few clips and him being mentioned on some podcasts I listen to, but that's it.

    Being online and region free at a reasonable price, I took a punt on this download. I doubt I'd have bought a DVD at any price without being abkle to preview it, and I'm not sure if he's ever been shown on UK TV. He's certainly not the kind of act that would show on Spanish TV from what I've seen. Yet, here he has a download from Spain.

    I wonder how many other people who could or would not have bought one of his shows on disc have bought the download?

     

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    EmJay, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 12:57am

    I had never heard of the guy, never seen any of his comedy, but I heard of his 'experiment', and wanted to participate.

    I've spent this much hiring a movie from Blockbuster that I'd never heard of, so why not??

     

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    EmJay, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 1:38am

    I posted my comment without reading all the comments.

    Now that I have, I have to chime in on the 'profit' discussion.

    Louis made $175,000 from his live shows.

    He "bet" that money on making a video, like some people bet on sports, and "bet" a further $35,000 on the website.

    He "won" $500,000 on his "bet"

    But, unless you're a stupid gambler, you don't consider the $500,000 as all win. The win is the difference between what you bet (i.e $210,000) and what you collected.

     

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