Go Direct, It’s the Future

JK Rowlings gets it. She’s going direct to her readers with Pottermore. She’s cutting out the publishers and Amazon. Because of that, she’ll make another billion. I’m not JK Rowling, but I did go direct to my audience to raise over $35k to pre-fund my new books.

Even a comedian can do it. No, it’s not a book, but the point is still the same. Louis CK just made a video of his comedy and released it direct to his fans, and made over $200k from it. No middleman.

Comedian Louis Szekely, better known as Louis C.K., is profiting handsomely from a $5 video of his latest standup routine, which he produced and distributed himself.

Instead of partnering with a studio, C.K. hired a team with six cameras to tape two of his performances at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. He distributed the video through a website specially built for that purpose. Within 12 hours of going on sale Saturday, 50,000 people purchased the video, covering all of costs incurred for its production (around $170,000) and creation of the website ($32,000). By day four, he had sold 110,000 copies, making an additional $200,000 off the venture.

C.K. admits that $200,000 is less than what a “big company” would have paid him for rights to create the video, but the added value for the fans makes up for the difference. Had another company produced it, they would have charged $20 for a video that would have been encrypted and regionally restricted, and fans would have had to fork over their personal details for the company’s own use.

“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,” C.K. posted on his website Tuesday.