I'm going to be offering other things through this site. Would you like to hear about them?
Yes, I'd like to receive further emails about Louis C.K. things.
No, leave me alone forever, you fat idiot.
I clicked yes.
I also opted-in to his mailings, partly because it was opt-in rather than opt-out, and partly because of his tone. He has some great copy for selling comedy videos, and now albums. In the email he sent out about the new audio specials, he had his usual laid back tone, but he also ended with this:
> Okay. that was exhausting. Sorry. I didn't even ask you how you are. How are you? Oh yea? Oh good. That's great. What? Oh man. That's tough. I'm sorry... Oh well that sounds like you handled it well, though. So. Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know that's... yeah. Well... Just remember, time will go by and that'll just be on the list of shit that happened to you. You'll be okay. Yeah. Huh?... Oh. Really? HE DID? Oh my GOD! hahaha!! That's CRAZY! No. no. I won't tell him you told me. Of course not. Alright well... uhuh? Oh wow. yeah. Alright well.. I really gotta go. Thanks for listening. I'm glad you're basically okay. Stay in touch.
> your friend,
> Louis C.K.
It's almost like treating your customer like a person and not just a wallet with some flesh hanging off of it helps your cause. It's a novel idea to be sure.
I never managed to convince anyone to try A/B testing a banner ad that literally just said 'BUY OUR SHIT', though.
This is what fighting piracy looks like.
I know it sucks that you can't subscribe to HBO Go without being a cable customer. But for existing HBO users, it's a very, very well done service. The iPad app is gorgeous and well engineered. It has basically every epoisode of every season of every HBO series, all HBO original movies, and as far as I can tell nearly every HBO original documentary, comedy special, etc. And of course all of the movies HBO is currently running in their rotation.
HBO on Cable runs about $13 a month. I'm sure they could sell subscriptions just to Go for $20-25. But HBO wants to be a Cable service, not an Internet service. Nothing wrong with that. They're not luddites trying to avoid technology: they're using it very effectively. They're just using it in the way that suits their business model and philosophy.
HBO on Cable costs $13 plus whatever your basic cable fees, which after "introductory rates" often means $80/mo or more. Granted, you get more than just HBO then, but in the case that you just want HBO and nothing else there is no sanely priced option.
Though $80 is definitely inflated.
Apparently you forgot your password? Ok, so here's your new one, stupid:
Limiting number of downloads protects their bandwidth from would be jerks. Protecting their service is important for their customers to have a quality experience. It's fair, and most people will only ever download once. If they for some reason use up all 4 downloads and want more they should e-mail them. Why wouldn't give more if some had a genuinely good reason for using up their downloads?
Totally worth the money.
I can see the tech aspect about selling DRM free media, alright. But this link goes straight to a site selling MP3s. In my books thats ADVERTISEMENT.
Don't get me wrong, I like Louis CK. But HN is really the wrong platform to exchange random entertainment links. Think about why you like this newsfeed, and help keeping it clean.
You get the audio in addition to the video now, whether you buy it now or in the future.
Stand up guy.
He is also managing to sell stuff that was from HBO, again, DRM-free and at reasonable price.
So, "a famous guy self publishes on the internet". Does that make it MORE news-worthy? Famous guys have been self-publishing on the internet for a long-long time.
>Also, he's also selling his stuff, without a middleman, DRM-free and with a very decent price.
Like tens of thousands of other artists you mean? They even used to do this pre-internet, e.g. the music tape scene market, or the fanzine market.
I don't get what Louis CK does differently than any other. Famous and non-famous people have done exactly the same things before, from Stephen King and Radiohead to thousands of underground bands...
And if we remove the absolute "no middleman" rule (which is not exactly true in this case, he pays some service for the payment processing for example), and keep it to mean: "no media company/recording company middleman", then any of the tens of thousands of bands/artists that use a "submit to music stores/process payments" middleman TuneCore, CD Baby, etc are doing the same.
Of course small bands/artists have been doing this - they have no choice. Very few people break away from the comfort of big-business checks once they get there to try stuff on their own. You have to remember he could have lost a ton of money if the original experiment failed, but it did not because people respect it and supported it.
This is news because it proves DRM-free content at a low price can be a worthy endeavor that supports the artist directly - not because someone is selling shit on a website.
The personal touch thing works because he is a comedian, it isn't anything new and exciting that hasn't been done before. It works for him because he is in comedy. Do you think the AWS homepage should have something like 'Yo dawg, I heard you like EC2, so get up in a m1.xlarge for only $0.08 an hour'? That doesn't work because it is a huge corporation employing thousands of people. The Louis CK site is representing one person, who is in comedy.
These endeavors work for him because he is one of the most popular standup comedians out there and is loved by everyone in the biz, so it is easy for him to go at this alone since he already has the fanbase.
I just hope that everyone isn't assuming that since Louis CK made $200k profit off of his last endeavor that they think they can demand HBO release Game of Thrones online, worldwide the same minute it airs on TV.
I don't believe anyone would make that correlation with shows. It does seem to support, however, that by offering such things at a low-cost (low barrier to entry) that they would tend to be just as successful as the package deals and other ways in which companies like HBO get you to buy them.
batista already mentioned Stephen King.
It was sometime around 2000 and he decided to release a chapter at a time for free while accepting donations. He set some sort of barrier (I think it was 50%) and if the donations/downloads ratio fell below that, he'd stop publishing. After several chapters, the percentage inevitably fell under the 50% and he stopped publishing.
It was a novel (pun intended) experiment but at the time I certainly felt King was being quite antagonistic to the audience with the constant threats to cancel the experiment. And, well, I don't think the book was very good either, although it did go on to be published traditionally later on.
The idea of the e-book was very nascent at the time and there was no real understanding of what formats to use and on what devices (and e-books 10+ years ago were almost entirely for desktop use). If King did the same now using a Louis CK model, it would probably work well but.. heck, King doesn't need to try it because he's already as wealthy as any author should wish to be.
I would think that after achieving a great amount of wealth/success that these people would actually lust after the idea of breaking all requirements from the traditional publishers and work directly with their fans. Obviously need would be helpful, but I don't think need is necessary for success. Want seems to trump need in these cases - which might explain why it doesn't work quite as well for no-name bands/artists.
The smack-talking personality and humor in his site copy is all icing on the cake, it's the money-making non-DRM sales that's news, relevant, and worth paying attention to.