While many musicians have been experimenting with directly distributing content to people, one of our favorite comedians, New York-based Louis CK decided to try the same thing with his latest stand up special. He paid for the recording of the performance at the Beacon Theatre at a cost of $170,000 which was the proceeds from the ticket sales; he then sold the show online for $5 in a easily downloadable (and easily shared) format directly from his own website instead of via DVD or through HBO or Comedy Central. He said this:
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.
Check out the statement here.