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Louis C. K. Plans Online Broadcast of Comedy Concert
November 6, 2011 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Louis C. K. Plans Online Broadcast of Comedy Concert Stand up comedian Louis C.K. announced on the Conan show (forward to about 9'10" into the video for the discussion) that he is taping a comedy special that will be broadcast only on the Internet.

The show itself will be performed on November 10th at the Beacon Theater in New York and then an edited version of the show will be available for purchase for $5 on his web site, louisck.net, starting on December 10th.
posted by NoMich (38 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
ill pay $5
posted by nathancaswell at 9:37 AM on November 6, 2011


It's interesting that he's asking for a minimal money outlay to receive the show. I hope this means that he'll have invested enough in the broadcasting technology that there won't be any glitches, or else he'll have a public relations catastrophe on his hands and people demanding their money back.

Otherwise, I really support this kind of thing. It's the kind of thing which Trent Reznor was foreseeing quite a few years ago with his Ghosts project. I hope it's successful and that we see a lot more people doing this.

Not that I don't like services like HBO. But I know a LOT of people who would be watching a lot more HBO programming if they didn't have to subscribe to the channel to see it. I bet they'd be happy to pay a minimal amount to see certain shows and specials when they're brand new instead of waiting for a DVD release or going through the bother of torrents and such.
posted by hippybear at 9:39 AM on November 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Huh. Even Rob Sheridan has commented on this internet broadcast. He was, of course, a big part of NIN.
posted by hippybear at 9:54 AM on November 6, 2011


I have tickets for this show. I am beyond psyched and thrilled I get to share it with everybody. What a gift.
posted by victors at 10:16 AM on November 6, 2011


I don't know, $5 is actually a bit much for a la carte programming. Say a typical cable package (with HBO) costs $80-$100/month. Assuming his standup show is going to be an hour, that means that you'd have to watch less than 20 hours of TV / month in order for it to be the same value. Or you could order Netflix streaming and get that value in two hours.

I suspect it's hard to charge less than $5 because of the credit card fees. If that's the case, I think we'll start seeing more lottery options - pay $5 to watch, but only 1 of 5 people actually get charged. Average cost is $1, but you bypass the high % fees.
posted by one_bean at 10:30 AM on November 6, 2011


Just saw him at our lovely symphony hall in Baltimore. It was all new material, and as good or better than Hilarious.
posted by HumanComplex at 10:50 AM on November 6, 2011


Lottery? If all those people are willing to part with $5 why would you give up 80% of your potential earnings? And don't you risk pissing off the 20% that actually paid?
posted by The Hamms Bear at 10:56 AM on November 6, 2011


$5 is pretty much the mental equivalent of "free" these days, anyway. It's less than the cost of an Extra Value Meal, and while I haven't been to one in years, isn't it about the price of a fancied-up Starbucks beverage?

It's the right price, mentally, for a lot of people.
posted by hippybear at 10:59 AM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lottery? If all those people are willing to part with $5 why would you give up 80% of your potential earnings? And don't you risk pissing off the 20% that actually paid?

No you make it clear ahead of time that it's a lottery. I would pledge $5 if I knew I only had a 1/5 chance to pay it. I'm not going to pay $5 for this.
posted by one_bean at 11:10 AM on November 6, 2011


I tried to get tickets for this show, which is on my birthday, but it was already sold out in early September when I tried
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:44 AM on November 6, 2011


$5 is pretty much the mental equivalent of "free" these days, anyway. It's less than the cost of an Extra Value Meal, and while I haven't been to one in years, isn't it about the price of a fancied-up Starbucks beverage?

I think you have $5 confused with 99 cents.
posted by NoraReed at 12:45 PM on November 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Obscure, there are some up on craigslist. Don't know if the prices are fair, but maybe worth a look.
posted by matt_od at 12:56 PM on November 6, 2011


I think you have $5 confused with 99 cents.

No, I don't. $5 is negligible in today's market. What can you buy for $5 these days? Not a fancy coffee, not a McDonald's meal... if you're lucky a pound of 80% lean hamburger, but even that's becoming more rare these days. My threshhold used to be $3, but it's definitely $5 these days.
posted by hippybear at 1:01 PM on November 6, 2011


What's it being "edited" for?
posted by kjh at 1:02 PM on November 6, 2011


What's it being "edited" for?
posted by kjh at 1:02 PM on 11/6

Sloppy Cuts, punch ups of laughter on jokes that didn't work, audience reaction shots, the opening 'bit' to intro the show, credits, graphics, coloring, music clearance, encoding, qa of streaming, programming of website to name a few.
posted by wcfields at 2:05 PM on November 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Before I get too excited about this, is there any indication about whether or not this will be available to people outside the US? In Australia?
posted by bunglin jones at 2:06 PM on November 6, 2011


It'll be available internationally for $5 as well, per his Twitter.
posted by raihan_ at 2:14 PM on November 6, 2011


Saw him in Richmond a few weeks ago. Fantastic show, 90% stuff I hadn't heard before.
posted by empath at 2:20 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is great, I love seeing artists sell work directly and would love to see much, much more of it. Loved the experiments NIN, Radiohead, and others have done, too.

What I wonder about is, as we see corporate control of arts/entertainment ebb, and that industry continue to fundamentally transform, how will lesser or unknown artists gain visibility to do the same thing? Success through corporate entities gave Louis CK et al the ability to be completely independent, so as the influence of such content providers wanes, how will today's unknown artists find audiences large enough to sustain a living? I see several models being experimented with and am fascinated--riveted, actually--to see how things will shake out over the next decade or so.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:54 PM on November 6, 2011


I wonder how many people here bitching about the "high cost" of a $5 show paid for their membership here at Metafilter? Show of hands?
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:16 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, the thing is, we're only going to see DIFFERENT corporate control over arts and entertainment as things evolve.

Before, the control was that of deciding what was worthy of coming before the public, and anything that was deemed worthy got the full machinery of the corporation behind it with distribution, publication, publicity, etc.

We're entering a world now where the corporations which will have the control will be those which do things like internet streaming and service providers. Even more so since there is no real net neutrality in place. We'll find that bandwidth caps per month end up cutting people's consumption down, unless they happen to be consuming media which is distributed by the ISP's streaming company in which case the consumer will still have to pay for the privilege of seeing the content but it won't count against the bandwidth consumption for that month. This kind of thing has been going on with cell phone companies forever -- "calls to everyone else using Sprint don't use up any monthly minutes!" -- and it's only going to get worse as it propagates into internet service.

Especially with the whole Comcast/NBC Universal merger. Imagine not too long into the future, where anyone who is a Comcast subscriber can watch anything which is sanctioned by NBC Universal without any cost to their monthly allowance, but every bit which comes from outside it is metered. Netflix, Google (YouTube)...

This is going to happen, I'm pretty sure of it.

So yeah, anyone will be able to create content and put it online and even charge people to see it, but there will be a double whammy applied if that content comes from outside the ever-narrowing field of non-neutral internet sources which allow customers to consume the content in the first place.
posted by hippybear at 3:18 PM on November 6, 2011


I would pledge $5 if I knew I only had a 1/5 chance to pay it. I'm not going to pay $5 for this.

So don't pay for his new material. Or wait a year or two for the good bits to trickle out onto YouTube. I don't see why Louis CK or anyone else would be under some obligation to give out their work to the lowest bidder.
posted by spoobnooble at 3:32 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I missed out on his recent show in my town and deeply regretted it. $5 is a bargain compared to going to see anyone do anything live. No drive time, parking, gas, babysitter, or Spanx. I'm in.
posted by pinky at 3:36 PM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


No drive time, parking, gas, babysitter, or Spanx.

I'm most curious about that last item on your list. Do you really wear Spanx when you go out for an evening, especially one which may involve huge amounts of laughter?

Seems like those are things best saved for Important Occasions in life and work where image matters a lot more than sitting in a seat in a darkened theater as part of an audience. But then, I'm not Spanx' target audience.
posted by hippybear at 3:42 PM on November 6, 2011


one_bean writes "I don't know, $5 is actually a bit much for a la carte programming. Say a typical cable package (with HBO) costs $80-$100/month. Assuming his standup show is going to be an hour, that means that you'd have to watch less than 20 hours of TV / month in order for it to be the same value. Or you could order Netflix streaming and get that value in two hours. "

Yet it is down right cheap compared to any PPV sporting event, even those that will last for a full hour. PPV fighting events especially can end up costing more per minute than I make per hour.
posted by Mitheral at 4:05 PM on November 6, 2011


I don't know, $5 is actually a bit much for a la carte programming.

I pay 0 dollars for cable so i don't mind dropping a little bit of money every once in a while.
posted by empath at 4:50 PM on November 6, 2011


People are refusing to pay $5 for comedy from one of (if the THE) best comedians alive today?

THAT'S hilarious!
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 5:29 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


He recently performed in Durham and last I checked, the cheapest seats were $65. So yeah, I'm happy to pay only $5 to see this show.
posted by NoMich at 5:32 PM on November 6, 2011


$5 is a heck of a lot cheaper than seeing a movie in theaters these days.
posted by littlesq at 5:50 PM on November 6, 2011


Yeah, five bucks seems like a pretty good deal to me. If it doesn't to you, the solution is not to buy it.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:38 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many people here bitching about the "high cost" of a $5 show paid for their membership here at Metafilter? Show of hands?
Not me, $5 noob.

Anyway I don't think $5 will be too much to pay. He'll probably make a lot of sales. I'd rather he sell it as a download then try to stream it. Even with a pretty fast connection you get better playback from downloading.
posted by delmoi at 7:23 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not bitching I'm just saying it's too expensive for me. I paid $5 for Metafilter and have gotten a lot more than one hour out of it. I also pay 0$ for cable because I can't afford it. I brew my own coffee and don't eat at MacDonald's if that makes you feel better? I think this is a great idea -- I wish all entertainment were a la carte like this. But if it were, I think the price would have to come down considerably. $5 once in a while is fine, but nobody's going to shell out $5 every time they want to watch, say, a one hour episode of Boardwalk Empire or whatever. The rest of his specials were free on Comedy Central or are streaming on Netflix (which are also delivery methods that are considerably cheaper than going out to a show, etc.). Home entertainment is, on average, much cheaper than $5/hour. Maybe it's a two hour special and then it would be totally cost-effective. I think a big barrier to making all entertainment available like this is that $5 is probably about the basement you can charge without running into hefty credit card fees. I was trying to come up with a way around that. I'm not saying he's wrong or that he's not going to make money on it or that he shouldn't be doing it. I love Louis C.K. Good grief.
posted by one_bean at 7:47 PM on November 6, 2011


Well, I also think that the $5 per hour price would be too much for series television. But that's not what this is. It's a special, and it's not something which happens every week or in seasons. As such, it can ask a bit more money as a once a year thing rather than a weekly thing.

i don't know how well the television shows are selling on iTunes, but they seem to have a much lower price point.
posted by hippybear at 7:51 PM on November 6, 2011


This is going to happen, I'm pretty sure of it.

I hope you're wrong, hippybear, but at least in the short-term I suspect you're right. I think it's likely that as the big players try to assert more ownership and squeeze more subscriber dollars out of their ISP services, people will respond by moving to faster, cheaper, smaller ISPs (that are being experimented with in a few markets, e.g. northern CA).

But I think that people will come to view open internet access as a basic utility like electricity. In my hometown in Louisiana, broadband internet is part of the city utilities package--my mom pays less than $30/month for her internet, provided by a public municipality. I think that's going to become extremely common, eventually. If so, seems like the big players in the future will be content portals like Amazon, iTunes, and Netflix.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:38 PM on November 6, 2011


wait a year or two

Yeah that's usually how long it takes.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:39 PM on November 6, 2011


As someone who knows how trivially easy it is to get access to pretty much any media imaginable, often weeks before it is available as a retail purchase, I look forward to spending $5 on this. Louis CK is easily one of the best voices out there, and I'm thrilled to know that I can contribute money directly to him.
posted by quin at 3:00 PM on November 7, 2011


I don't know, $5 is actually a bit much for a la carte programming it costs 3.99 to rent a movie on amazon, so seeing a live show for 5 doesn't seem too far out of line.
posted by Dr. Twist at 3:17 PM on November 7, 2011


Fuck yeah. I'm happy to give the guy $5, especially this way, which (I assume) means he and his people will get a larger cut (and exactly zero will trickle down to the RIAA and MPAA, one hopes?).

He's one of my favorites I haven't paid anything so far to watch any of his material, apart from a few ad views here and there. Circumventing traditional distribution channels is a fun bit of icing on the cake, too.
posted by kprincehouse at 11:03 PM on November 7, 2011


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