Late last year, Louis C.K. caused quite a stir when he released his latest stand-up special via his personal website without implementing any semblance of digital rights management (DRM) protection. Despite what many distributors might have you believe about such an unprotected maneuver, Mr. C.K. enjoyed a great deal of success and, indeed, prompted a tidal shift in the distribution of comedic specials.
Furthering the experiment, Louis C.K. has announced the exclusive availability of his upcoming tour tickets via his personal website. Cutting out deplorable organizations such as TicketMaster, Louis C.K.’s tickets are available for a simple $45 price. No complication, no trouble, and utterly affable for the prospective consumer.
In a blog post discussing the matter, Louis C.K. writes:
By selling the tickets exclusively on my site, I’ve cut the ticket charges way down and absorbed them into the ticket price. To buy a ticket, you join NOTHING. Just use your credit card and buy the damn thing. opt in to the email list if you want, and you’ll only get emails from me.
Also, you’ll see that if you try to sell the ticket anywhere for anything above the original price, we have the right to cancel your ticket (and refund your money). this is something I intend to enforce. There are some other rules you may find annoying but they are meant to prevent someone who has no intention of seeing the show from buying the ticket and just flipping it for twice the price from a thousand miles away.
Honestly, I couldn’t be more impressed by Mr. C.K.’s experiments in this field. Considering his comedy provides for his livelihood, Mr. C.K.’s apparent willingness to throw caution to the wind, anger ticket retailers, anger media distributors, and work toward his own vision of equality in the marketplace is not only brave, but supremely endearing.
Treating the consumer with respect — particularly for a personality-driven industry — will prove invaluable for Mr. C.K.’s prospective successes. Placing himself in the proverbial open, allowing discourse between himself and his fans, and re-defining the malevolence of the traditional consumer experience are certainly not simple tasks to contend with. But, in doing so, Louis C.K. has established a precedent in the comedy industry — something that we can only hope will permeate across the media industry in its entirety in relatively short order.
I fully intend to be at the Dallas, Texas show on October 20.