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Summary:

Traditional media companies — and independent artists — can learn a lot from the success of comedian Louis CK’s self-produced standup special, which he offered for download at $5 a copy without any digital-rights management protection. The project paid for itself in less than a day.

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Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostly for a hilarious clip about how “everything is amazing but no one is happy,” which lampooned our inability to recognize our own good fortune and led to a TV show. Now, he has become the new poster boy for the idea of selling content directly to fans, after the success of a video download he offered on his website without any digital-rights protection. And that success contains lessons for traditional media companies who continue to lock down their content and otherwise fail to take advantage of the social web.

Louis CK (whose real name is Louis Szekely) announced earlier this week that he was going to both live-stream a video of his latest stand-up routine — called “Live at the Beacon Theater” — and offer a download of the show for $5 on his website, without any copyright or digital-rights management (DRM) protection. Or as he described it: “No DRM, no regional restrictions, no crap. You can download this file, play it as much as you like, burn it to a DVD, whatever.” However, the comedian asked his fans to please avoid uploading the video to BitTorrent or other file-sharing sites, saying he wanted to be able to continue such self-financed experiments in the future:

I paid for the production and posting of this video with my own money. I would like to be able to post more material to the fans in this way, which makes it cheaper for the buyer and more pleasant for me. So, please help me keep this being a good idea. I can’t stop you from torrenting; all I can do is politely ask you to pay your five little dollars, enjoy the video, and let other people find it in the same way.

Many uploaded pirated copies, but thousands paid

As my colleague Ryan Lawler noted, this plea didn’t stop people from uploading copies of the video to the usual file-sharing websites and services, and within a matter of hours, there were dozens of copies of “Live at the Beacon Theater” available for free. But the interesting thing is that this didn’t stop plenty of fans from paying for the video — in just four days, more than a hundred thousand people had downloaded and paid for it, racking up over $500,000 in revenue. According to a blog post from the comedian, the video paid for itself in less than 12 hours, and after four days he had cleared about $200,000 in profit.

Half a million dollars in revenue from a self-produced product may not compare to some of the millions that developers have made from Facebook games or iPhone apps, but for a comedian that has to be a nice windfall — and presumably that number will continue to rise. This is for a show that Louis CK filmed and edited himself (he also said during a question-and-answer session on the Reddit site that he edits his TV show on his Macbook).

The comedian now joins the alternative rock group Radiohead and DJ mashup artist Girl Talk (both of whom have released “pay what you want” downloads”) as an example of how successful a direct-to-fans approach can be. And Louis CK’s experiment shows that this approach can have the same kind of disruptive effect on television and movies as it has had in music. So what can media companies — or other would-be independents — learn from his example?

  • It pays to be human: Louis CK likely got a lot of support in part because he opened himself up to his fans, via both his blog and the Q & A he did on Reddit, one of the site’s popular “Ask Me Anything” features. His openness on the site about his financial stake in the video no doubt helped encourage that support. Media companies too often focus on their corporate brand, not the human beings who actually create the content.
  • You have to make it easy: As the comedian described, he didn’t want to give his fans something with DVD region-encoding or DRM padlocks or other gimmicks because they are irritating. Instead, he made it as simple as possible for them to get something they could use in any way they want. This is the exact opposite of the approach most media companies take, and it virtually guarantees that their content will be pirated as much as possible.
  • It’s better to be cheap: CK could probably have asked for $20 or even more for his video special — and a TV network or media conglomerate undoubtedly would have. But $5 makes it an easy choice for just about anyone who likes the comedian’s work or is even mildly interested. E-book prices have demonstrated the same thing: if you price it low enough, you can sell orders of magnitude more units than you would if you put a higher price tag on it.

Direct-to-fans is the way content works now

How could a traditional media entity take advantage of this phenomenon? By making it as easy as possible for the individual brands they have in their stable — whether it’s a comedian, a singer or a newspaper columnist — to make direct contact with their fans. Mike Masnick at Techdirt has written a lot about how connecting with fans and giving them “a reason to buy” can benefit musicians and other artists, and former Wired magazine editor Kevin Kelly has also written about how an individual content creator only needs 1,000 loyal fans to make a living.

The elements of this approach that are probably the hardest for media companies to focus on are the “making it easy and cheap” parts. Media conglomerates are used to not only over-charging for their products, but locking them down and trying to control their distribution as tightly as possible — the idea of simply offering something for sale without DRM no doubt seems like insanity. But if more artists take the Louis CK route, who will be left to provide the locked-down content for those old media companies?

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Sandy Honig and Wikimedia Commons

  1. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/iR6Spjtd

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  2. RT @NewTeeVee: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/iR6Spjtd

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  3. new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  4. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  5. ‘zactly RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/CYHHzKml

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  6. THE FUTURE! RT @mathewi: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/cL5cJbVy

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  7. More on @LouisCK. [http://t.co/jjoFLyCt] I love how on @nprfreshair he said he wanted to do it because it’s interesting. Shaking things up.

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  8. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  9. –> RT @NewTeeVee: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/ZHa7ECIq

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  10. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  11. gotta love Louis CK… he got my $5! http://t.co/OktAXuMp

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  12. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/WQwB5sg9

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  13. RT @NewTeeVee: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/iR6Spjtd

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  14. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t: Traditional media companies — and independent a… http://t.co/RNjFEQRG #webseries

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  15. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/KQbsq4cs

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  16. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/8PgZIEpW

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  17. Impressive. Revolutionary? What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/b4tsd9nL

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  18. Funny and brilliant – Louis CK offers his new stand-up routine as a $5 download, makes $500,000 in four days. http://t.co/w1Bv9xV4

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  19. Want to move units? Worry about access not piracy: MT @mathewi “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/RgzQICxP

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  20. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/nn1ztX1g

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  21. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/8O6f9NSd [nice piece by @mathewi]

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  22. [GigaOM] What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t:
    Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostl… http://t.co/XV2xV53C

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  24. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/wefctZME @amarchugg #news

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  27. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/329nzDkf @amarchugg #news

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  28. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t:
    Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostly for a h… http://t.co/m77Kta7J

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  29. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t:
    Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostly for a h… http://t.co/8tswKTEq

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  30. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t:
    Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostly for a h… http://t.co/qYlYtGgE

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  31. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t:
    Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostly for a h… http://t.co/9vmJ9LR7

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  32. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t:
    Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostly for a h… http://t.co/ZgRUrXbU

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  34. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/qIoXdlCu

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  35. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/51ddUR6p

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  36. RT @ryanlawler: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/8O6f9NSd [nice piece by @mathewi]

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  37. This guy is fantastic : What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/Hoz8VWQv

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  38. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  39. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  40. Great post by @mathewi: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/DtL3WZfS

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  41. RT @johnlepp: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/51ddUR6p

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  42. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t — Tech News and Analysis http://t.co/ktmwHrkC

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  43. “Many uploaded pirated copies, but thousands paid” http://t.co/ktmwHrkC

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  44. Louis C.K.’s lesson on brand and the use of new media. What big media companies fail to understand: http://t.co/nIXIaZDK

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  45. This only really works for established artists.

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    1. Bullshit. When you make similar example for new artist they say “Oh, but this only works for small artists”. When Radiohead or Trent Reznor do it they say “Oh, but this only works for big artists”. This – works for everyone. You need to connect with fans and give them reason to buy.

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      1. Do you have an example of a small artist who had this type of success in a matter of days?

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      2. It’s a false dichotomy. A small artist will only have small sales. But over time small artists who are good can become big. Justin Bieber went from small Internet artist to big mainstream one, but there is a continuum between those two extremes.

        Look at Kickstarter for examples of many small artists reaching out to their fans to finance albums.

        Comedians in particular have benefitted from giving stuff away on the Internet. Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan and Marc Maron all say their podcasts have dramatically increased the turnout at their live events.

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      3. Brandon Mendelson Wednesday, December 14, 2011

        @Derek

        60% of Kickstarter campaigns fail according to Kickstarter. The ones that succeed all have finished products and usually just need that “one more thing”, so no … telling people to look at Kickstarter for success stories doesn’t prove your point at all. There are (virtually) none.

        Also, every comedian you mentioned was on TV at some point. Rogan was just on one of the top rated shows to air on NBC in months.

        I’d like you to identify a comedian who has not been on television who has met success in terms of drawing a crowd to their shows using only the Internet.

        Go ahead. I’ll wait.

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      4. Brandon Mendelson Wednesday, December 14, 2011

        Proof?

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    2. … Or for , if unknown, extremely talented people.

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    3. @Brandon you are naive for believing that. I bet 60% of kickstarter campaigns fail because the artist/comic launch it premature (they don’t have enough loyal fans yet) and want to take the easy way out and rush the campaign without putting in the work to build their following.

      There are hundreds of comedians solely using youtube with hundreds of thousands if not millions of subscribers making an incredibly comfortable living off of their material. Most don’t go on tours, but should they decide to they will for sure sell tickets.

      The problem is you have too many comedians or content creators that really aren’t talented enough and saturate the space creating this false perception that yourself has seem to bought into that things can’t be done this way. You also have the talented content creators that just don’t know how to leverage the right tools properly to build their presence.

      If you are talented and know what you are doing you can accomplish everything you wish to solely leveraging the internet.

      And to answer your questions in regards to examples: Jenna Marble, Dom Mazzetti, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Kain carter, Kev Jumba and the list goes on and on and on….

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      1. Brandon Mendelson Sunday, December 18, 2011

        “If you are talented and know what you are doing you can accomplish everything you wish to solely leveraging the internet.”

        Seriously?

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  46. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t. http://t.co/ys5G7JSk

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  47. Ushering in a change to how we consume media. Human connections, not corporate ones. Thanks, @louisck. http://t.co/A8XRC8Hx

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  48. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t: http://t.co/d4kuUCjk Good breakdown from @mathewi.

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  49. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/476Lqb6p

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  50. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  57. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/x5c45WLy

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  58. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  59. RT @ryanlawler: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/8O6f9NSd [nice piece by @mathewi]

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  60. gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/ffVps4mH

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  61. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  62. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/OwR0msTs

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  63. louis ck and the future of online content (from @gigaom) http://t.co/peBPWH3P

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  64. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  65. Whoa, Louis CK broke even in 12 hours and cleared $200k profit from his recent self produced special http://t.co/BkkDUjlQ

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  66. “What @louisck knows that most media companies don’t” by @mathewi http://t.co/IWIPgnzX via @gigaom #content #DRM #media (Thx @jeffsonderman)

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  67. Отличный эксперимент. Я, к слову, заплатил. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/AiBtwiSk

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  68. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/jIYDWwKg

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  69. @PJMcNealy and @CJ_Reim possible #NMI 2012 material? What @LouisCK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1YL1hXpE

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  70. this is absolutely the right way and the only way forward … media companies should embrace the good nature of people. They’re like the neighbor with the fence … unless you’ve got a rabid dog, just take it down. Your neighbors are nice … I promise. There will always be people who will steal, but most people if you make it easy enough and cheap enough will be happy to pay.

    I also wonder why media companies don’t focus more on disruption techniques in the file sharing world. Post crappy copies that piss people off. Fragmented copies that are missing important parts or end before the ending … this will destroy the trust of file sharing networks and push people to buy … seems pretty easy to me.

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  71. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  72. A must read: What @louisck knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/YRLMKSqB via/ @gigaom

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  73. NewTeeVee: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/fvpHsg1h

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  74. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  75. more evidence that tech is destroying the old media model ~ What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/BibuPLfG $$

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  76. On that scale, sure, only established artists can rack up 500k in a few days. But it will also work for new artists trying to break into the fray. Their production costs will be lower and so will their initial revenue but that is better than the deal they would get from old media; which is no deal.

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    1. Plus they can use platforms like Kickstarter to help them finance the project.

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  77. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  78. RT @simondoyle: louis ck and the future of online content (from @gigaom) http://t.co/peBPWH3P

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  79. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/ZGPxTKEF

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  80. Everything is amazing and Louis CK is happy. Great post from @mathewi http://t.co/SiLXsWzr

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  81. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  82. RT @ryanlawler: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/8O6f9NSd [nice piece by @mathewi]

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  83. [498] What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t
    http://t.co/AYGGMfev

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  84. RT @filos: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/qIoXdlCu

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  85. Impressive: @louisck is changing the game. “@gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/per73BNk

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  86. Nice… Let’s try and do this friends … We can all use an extra $500k … http://t.co/u2aREsFJ

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  87. Comedian @LouisCK successful experiment with cheap, non-DRM, downloadable content http://t.co/je80NBjQ

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  88. RT @filos: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/qIoXdlCu

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  89. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  90. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  91. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  92. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  93. Incredible article from @mathewi – Louis CK clears $500K in 24 hrs with DRM-free #video: http://t.co/nCdhJOvw #media #comedy

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  94. “Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostly for a hilarious clip about how “everything is amazing but no one is happy,” ”

    You’re joking right? Louis CK, the Emmy Award winning writer, producer, director, actor and stand up comedian who’s been active since the mid-80s? You could at least Google someone’s name before reporting on them.

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  95. I think Louis CK said it best during his reddit Q&A: “…to steal from someone and not feel bad, you either have to be a sociopath or view the act differently. One way is to remove “Someone” from the equation. You’re not stealing from a person. Big companies do a lot to help people view them as less than human. I heard a speech by Noam Chomsky who said that corporations are like super humans. They cannot be hurt like a human can and they never die. They are not susceptible to scrutiny or accountability. this makes them more profitable. If companies want to enjoy these benefits to some degree they have to live with what else comes with being not human. you miss out on compassion, forgiveness, camaraderie, empathy, trust all kinds of shit.”

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    1. That’s a great point, Sean, I agree — by making it a human creation process, artists like Louis CK make it harder for people to rationalize taking their content without paying.

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  96. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/PJ7FdMN9

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  97. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/c8fAQGPC

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  98. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/fYSlhzh5 via Mathew Ingram

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  99. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  100. Aún queda sentido común en algunos sitios… What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/Cdg39PCn

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  101. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/vMiTh24t

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  102. RT @brundle_fly: THE FUTURE! RT @mathewi: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/cL5cJbVy

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  103. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/6imGHp8q

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  104. RT @lykle: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/glEN4dut

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  105. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t. Great writeup on modern models for content dist. from @mathewi http://t.co/kgXCWKjE

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  106. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t @mathewi http://t.co/yPKu08vF

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  107. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1mDlF7n3 (YES!!)

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  108. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/4GyJc22u

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  109. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/wcZWKPrx #onlinevideo #DRM

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  110. Go Louis CK go!! Love it. http://t.co/zFIQflRk

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  111. What can you learn from a comedian? What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/gwoD57kQ

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  112. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/tH7ogwNB

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  113. He was awesome on @NPRfreshair last night. RT @doylealbee: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/rLye7Znq (YES!!)

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  114. RT @doylealbee: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1mDlF7n3 (YES!!)

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  115. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/zpT0ZmUI via @zite

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  116. RT @ehpo: RT @lykle: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/glEN4dut

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  117. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t — http://t.co/kRKKtwhk

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  118. DRM padlocks…media companies take… virtually guarantees that their content will be pirated as much as possible. http://t.co/yRhIAQ4Y

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  119. Great read. | What @louisck knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/skCD6F5H

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  120. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/wdE65E2K — I wonder how he feels about me tweeting this…

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  121. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  122. This was a big step forward in the world of digital media. There are sites that do exactly what Louis is doing for the artists that don’t have the money or resources to fund a website, bandwidth, etc.

    Check out Gigstarz (http://www.gigstarz.com). They offer this ability to stream pay-for-view content to every user.

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  123. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/C3OIG0fE

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  124. What a great read. RT @elementaltech: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/sBtMGXf2

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  125. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/2qUK2kbI

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  126. RT @elementaltech: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/XjFAquIj (Hello, music industry?) via @jhmcintyre

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  127. Fascinating Real Monetizing Media Distribution Experiment by Comedian Louis CK — http://t.co/Jxx8iraT

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  128. Get rid of the middle-man. You should be selling directly to your fans: http://t.co/iLAVPMIy #leanpub

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  129. This will work for anyone that will do the work to make it work. If you are a small artist that plays live, give fans a physical copy for a set price but also give them the business card that tells them where to go to get it digitally and let them pay what they want

    Its all about the fan networking from now on!

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  130. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/Iw9PD9PX

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  131. $5 #price, no DRM=success RT @Edgewise: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/oTpevlsz

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  132. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/b8EjWfOt

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  133. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t — Tech News and Analysis http://t.co/HFRI0HRP

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  134. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t — Tech News and Analysis http://t.co/LrC4vNdU

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  135. Wat een baas die LCK!! “@lykle: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/vaTUE0hr”

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  136. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  137. Great analysis of the Louis CK download – What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/uGGQVJce via @zite

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  138. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/8XiqJ4eI #copyright #drm

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  139. RT @IngridGlomp: “Many uploaded pirated copies, but thousands paid” http://t.co/ktmwHrkC

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  140. RT @jhmcintyre: What a great read. RT @elementaltech: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/PKcCgZHT

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  141. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t. http://t.co/FQadtkDj

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  142. RT @scott_patten: Get rid of the middle-man. You should be selling directly to your fans: http://t.co/iLAVPMIy #leanpub

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  143. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/qxVe04yl

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  144. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/Paf6VrSf

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  145. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/ZeG9CBn7

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  146. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t:
    Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostly for a h… http://t.co/jll92Zv4

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  147. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/VKoxVGVX #tech #social

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  148. @jangradvall Intressant artikel om Louis CK och hans senaste “experiment”. http://t.co/ucMew8Y8

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  149. What Louis CK (and IMO @30secondstomars) knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/0vWzp4HZ via @zite

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  150. RT @unsociallucas: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/Paf6VrSf

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  151. Love this. Louis CK makes 500K in 4 days posting an unprotected, self created video on the interwebz! http://t.co/pluU7bsB

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  152. RT @scott_patten: Get rid of the middle-man. You should be selling directly to your fans: http://t.co/iLAVPMIy #leanpub

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  153. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/qQPVQO4V via @zite @louisck

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  154. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/wbDKCtW5 via @zite

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  155. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/8BaIwS7x via @zite

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  156. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/EtdeQW2T via @zite

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  157. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/y9HAQzMW http://t.co/3aFwcCPo

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  158. RT @mediagazer: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/y9HAQzMW http://t.co/3aFwcCPo

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  159. RT @mediagazer: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/y9HAQzMW http://t.co/3aFwcCPo

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  160. RT @mediagazer: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/Oc1hFymt http://t.co/uPgWJup2

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  161. RT @mediagazer: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/y9HAQzMW http://t.co/3aFwcCPo

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  162. RT @mediagazer: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/y9HAQzMW http://t.co/3aFwcCPo

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  163. Great read RT @mediagazer: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/99siGZqs http://t.co/CDw7qHN4

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  164. Media conglomerates? Or from artist to fan directly? Access for content . http://t.co/ITphCKbN #media #digital

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  165. This is pro-piracy propaganda. I used to come to this site for tech news, now it’s all political posturing all the time.

    Louis C.K. spent 25 years building a career, then made this no-budget thing that is modestly successful. It is MEANINGLESS, and the desperate Tech Press wants to frame him and put him on the mantle as a propaganda tool. Pathetic.

    FX pays for and distributes his show, which reaches MILLIONS MORE PEOPLE.

    So sick of the intellectual dishonesty and the outright lies…

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  166. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/sfLIJpui

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  167. RT @mediagazer: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/y9HAQzMW http://t.co/3aFwcCPo

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  168. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/ZEvzrGPE

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  169. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/weY9QBkV via @zite

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  170. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  171. @LouisCK knows what big-distro doesn’t; the middle-man is out. http://t.co/UAwipHXJ http://t.co/tN5A0rq5

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  172. He’s easy and cheap! What @LouisCK knows that most media companies don’t. http://t.co/BkQ0H1MD

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  173. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/GdUyp0WB

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  174. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/RZyitZEZ via @zite

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  175. Love this guy — really putting it out there in order to do it his own way. Plus, funny as crap. What Louis CK knows… http://t.co/fGlB93vz

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  176. Great series of posts on this topic.

    I agree that this more streamlined approach to selling content seems like the right (only?) way to go. That said, the direct approach will have to change too, as the amount of artists using the model increases. When this approach explodes, all of the usual problems crop back up and the fundamentals of management (promotion, marketing, discovery, curation, etc.) will recover their relevance (and then some).

    It’s kind of a fascinating reboot to be witness to.

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    1. That’s a good point, Jack — I agree. Thanks for the comment.

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  177. RT @mediagazer: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/y9HAQzMW http://t.co/3aFwcCPo

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  178. RT @mediagazer: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (@mathewi / GigaOM) http://t.co/y9HAQzMW http://t.co/3aFwcCPo

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  179. Dishonest, disingenuous, misleading, condescending, and arrogant: One Tech blogger spins Louie CK’s success story: http://t.co/TnykaVQf

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  180. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/3e9wvwNV

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  181. RT @lakefieldmusic: @LouisCK knows what big-distro doesn’t; the middle-man is out. http://t.co/UAwipHXJ http://t.co/tN5A0rq5

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  182. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/DMiPfkSA

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  183. “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” via @gigaom – http://t.co/DW0lZwMV

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  184. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/wTxbZCEH

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  185. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1ofo2yyc

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  186. RT @jacklail: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1ofo2yyc

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  187. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/gv65l3PH

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  188. @BarryTheArtGuy I knew Louis CK was smart as a comic, but this is really smart as a business/media guy. http://t.co/vKWpwZC7

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  189. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t:
    Until recently, comedian Louis CK was known mostly… http://t.co/jsKZh438 #gigaom

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  190. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/lI8U6jaw

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  191. Smart RT @trueventures: Why comedian Louis CK understands more about content distribution than most media companies http://t.co/szDoztT7

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  192. Smart RT @trueventures: Why comedian Louis CK understands more about content distribution than most media companies http://t.co/szDoztT7

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  193. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/oeZGfKoj Love Louis #CK! #in great blog post…

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  194. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/up5P3xu1

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  195. RT @jacklail: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1ofo2yyc

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  196. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/i8LKHlmg

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  197. RT @jacklail: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1ofo2yyc

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  198. RT @Mimiran: $5 #price, no DRM=success RT @Edgewise: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/JHMCOCJE

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  199. @shericandler thx for sharing this encouraging, indeed INSPIRING link: http://t.co/KpVOL3yT #indie #film #webseries #music

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  200. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/FpemgEkP

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  201. RT @jmatuga: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/5q390LHt Love Louis #CK! #in great blog post…

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  202. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/HGlJ8xzo via @zite

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  203. RT @gigaom: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/DjUoDg7V

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  204. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/12kIupkk

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  205. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/gWOq8fNZ

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  206. You’re not going to spend $100 million or more to make a movie and sell it for $5 in the hopes that 20 million or so people will pay for it to break even. It’s not a sustainable business plan. It might work for Louis CK but the costs involved in showing his standup is considerably lower and for him can even be rationalized as a cheap/easy way to branch out his audience and get more people to watch his show on tv, where he probably makes more money. All this hype regarding the future of digital media is overblown. While it is undeniably better/easier for consumers, the money is not there and the threat and risk of declining sales in traditional media outlets like pay tv are too great to dive headfirst into digital media.

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  207. Glad Louis CK’s excellent special is such a hit http://t.co/LRyxe88P

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  208. RT @trueventures: Why comedian Louis CK understands more about content distribution than most media companies http://t.co/ybDfNH93

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  209. @PhillyD @kevinbrueck @Aaron__Massey @daneboe in case you guys missed it, LOUIS CK made bank: http://t.co/baJFVywt

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  210. Comedian Louis CK brings in $500,000 with direct video download comedy show http://t.co/D7xWL86x

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  211. For the uninitiated, this is what Louis CK pulled off http://t.co/qiyV4vGh Huge cue for methods of online marketing?

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  212. RT @mathewi: new from me at GigaOM: “What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t” http://t.co/ARSLioD5

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  213. RT @jacklail: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1ofo2yyc

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  214. The studios are late to the party just like the music biz was – What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/P9xHhyBJ

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  215. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/EZX0VAA2

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  216. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/SKag4hek #diesnapthetduswel

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  217. RT @saidwotORM What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/xIyy4fQF cc @Cynicalgrinch

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  218. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/qPUEVs7i

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  219. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1KPy72Am

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  220. Met deze openheid wordt content dus waardevol, zelfs drm-vrij >>> What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/EiHJuPnt

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  221. RT @DaGood: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1KPy72Am

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  222. RT @DaGood: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1KPy72Am

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  223. RT @DaGood: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1KPy72Am

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  224. RT @DaGood: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1KPy72Am

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  225. gr8 example how 2 crush barriers. has 2 use @dwolla 2 pay less % – What Louis CK knows that most #media companies don’t http://t.co/ZycZQ5zu

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  226. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t (a few days after releasing his last show on the web, DRM free) http://t.co/Vl5FniRN

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  227. RT @DaGood: What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/1KPy72Am

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  228. What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/0TEqU7Gb

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  229. Met deze openheid wordt content dus waardevol, zelfs drm-vrij >>> What Louis CK knows that most media companies don’t http://t.co/OolB9X6f

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