Many articles were written about Louis C.K.’s bold and hugely successful selling of his “Live at the Beacon Theater” stand-up comedy performance. It sold for just $5 and had no DRM protection. The main question that people asked was will this be a onetime thing or will other comedians follow in his footsteps?
After it was announced that Bill Maher’s “Crazy Stupid Politics” stand-up comedy show would be streamed live and free through Yahoo, another stand-up comedian, Jim Gaffigan, announced that his new one-hour comedy special will be released exclusively for download as well via his own website.
The special will be called “Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe” and will cost just $5. It will be DRM-free and $1 of each purchase will be donated to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which provides resources and support to injured service members, veterans and their families.
One might say that only well-known and established comedians can do this because the cost and the risk of producing such a performance is huge. According to C.K the production costs, which also include having a custom built website, were about $500,000. $500,000 is not something most comedians have – or can simply afford to lose – if the special is a failure.
There are many examples in the past of what technology can do when it comes to breaking down barriers. Computers and word processors made it very easy and affordable to write books make MP3’s, and the Internet helped launch the podcast phenomenon. My prediction is that once it is relatively cheap to produce comedy albums, we will no longer need to pay an average of $10 for them online, and I can’t wait for this to happen!
Here is a short clip of Gaffigan taking about birthdays – courtesy of YouTube.