Join 3,514 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Step 3: Profit!
February 19, 2006 11:22 PM   Subscribe

Looks like Ricky Gervais (and Steve Merchant and Karl 'I could eat a knob at night' Pilkington) are looking to commercialise on the success of their first series of podcasts. The second series is going to be a pay-for affair via Audible.com. The asking rate is $6.95 for 'at least four' episodes.
posted by pivotal (42 comments total)

 
Those guys are great!
posted by roguescout at 11:40 PM on February 19, 2006


Looks like it'll be on iTunes Music store too.

The first series was so great, I'm glad they're going to keep going.
posted by AaronRaphael at 11:46 PM on February 19, 2006


The Guardian podcasts were funny, but only in a "Well, at least this is a lot better than my local morning DJ banter" kind of way. Not sure if I'd want to pay for just more of just Karl saying something ridiculous and Ricky pointing out just how incredibly ridiculous it was.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:36 AM on February 20, 2006


This is a fantastic advert. Well done, pivotal!
posted by gsb at 5:00 AM on February 20, 2006


Good for them.
posted by cavalier at 5:27 AM on February 20, 2006


Monkey News needs funding and there's only so many grants from the Chubb Group to go around.
posted by unsupervised at 5:27 AM on February 20, 2006


This is a great idea! Now if only MySpace would start charging money for premium services. Excuse me I have to go. I am off to get a robot signature from Margaret Atwood and then spend some quality time with my WoW clan.
posted by srboisvert at 5:29 AM on February 20, 2006


Eh. It's a great show, but I probably wouldn't pay for it. Not when there's so much else out there that is free.
posted by ColdChef at 5:44 AM on February 20, 2006


I've listened to every episode of the first bunch of podcasts (just downloaded #12 this second and am dying to get to it!), and I'd gladly pay for the next series. Good for them.
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 6:27 AM on February 20, 2006


I was just thinking how Ricky Gervais needs to be even richer.
posted by krunk at 6:27 AM on February 20, 2006


Since when is a radio actor/star rich? He's not Tom Cruise, I don't see how you can knock the guy for trying to make a living.
posted by cavalier at 7:32 AM on February 20, 2006


You're kidding right?
posted by trey at 7:34 AM on February 20, 2006


Maybe he'll even manage to brake into TV!
posted by milov at 7:37 AM on February 20, 2006


*break, rather
posted by milov at 7:37 AM on February 20, 2006


Sadly, they probably do need to charge for this. If you're serving your weekly "world of vintage tractors" podcast to its 17 subscribers you can probably get away with a free or very cheap web hosting account; but if you're serving more than 4 million downloads over the course of a three month series (which adds up to about 57 terabytes) it's going to get expensive. And of course, that's not even taking into account production costs; value of the performer's time etc.
posted by thparkth at 7:38 AM on February 20, 2006


Maybe you two could join SAG and realize that the majority of actors out there make jack and shit :) -- Ricky's vitae shows that he is modestly successful. I'm not saying the guy is a pauper, but for all your jealousy he is not a millionaire (yet?) unless he has a very astute financial advisor.

on preview: what thparkth said about costs, too.
posted by cavalier at 7:44 AM on February 20, 2006


cavalier: You're joking, right?
posted by basicchannel at 8:02 AM on February 20, 2006


I suppose he might not have made THAT much money off the original UK Office. It was only two short series and he wasn't well known going into the first one. Given that... I'm sure he cleaned up on the DVDs, the US version, the Christmas special, and his new show Extras (which was sold directly to HBO).
posted by smackfu at 8:09 AM on February 20, 2006


Isn't Gervais the most successful comic in the UK, hands down? I doubt he's hurting for cash. He's been writing and producing for years if I'm not mistaken, and surely has a bit of a savings account.

That said - I'd pay almost any amount for these podcasts, nothing has made me laugh as hard in years as those 3 idiots.

Chimpanzee that!
posted by tristeza at 8:16 AM on February 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'll gladly supply the quills and ink for Karl's diary.
posted by PurpleJack at 9:01 AM on February 20, 2006


basicchannel writes "cavalier: You're joking, right?"

Are you kidding?
posted by mullacc at 9:02 AM on February 20, 2006


Gonna need a lot of ink. That guy writes everything down.
posted by graventy at 9:03 AM on February 20, 2006


Ok... let's clear this right up. DVD sales + licensing The Office for the American version of The Office to NBC + a successful series sold to HBO.

Now is there anyone still not able to do that math?
posted by basicchannel at 9:12 AM on February 20, 2006


In a world where talent-vacuum Harry bloody Hill can be scammed for 280 grand, I reckon Ricky Gervaise is probably doing OK. The podcasts so far have brightened my Monday mornings, I'm looking forward to more.
(On preview - don't forget the Animals & Politics DVDs, plus the live shows that spawned them).
posted by punilux at 9:17 AM on February 20, 2006


I love the podcasts, but charging for them seems a bit over the top. Part of the appeal was that they were doing this on a lark - now that they've got a financial tie-in, I think it detracts from the overall effect.
posted by aberrant at 9:30 AM on February 20, 2006


Well it moves from being a lark to a product, I guess.

I would just question how many points that Ricky has on those, basicchannel. The Office was commissioned by the BBC, so we do not know just how many points Ricky has on that regarding the DVD sales -- if at all. The NBC bit was probably a good pocket of cash as the trades haven't talked of any other series or show commitments that NBC might have offered instead.

Extras, while a lot of us like it, did not generate a lot of buzz in Variety and HR when it was first signed. Its numbers are OK and I think they trended upwards so maybe if they renew he'll be able to bank some more.

Again.. when 'big movie $tar$' sign on something, there are notes in the trades about the zillions of dollars rolling around. Ricky hasn't had any of these zillions. He's very gainfully employed and I'm sure he's on his way, but I must restate for the third time now that the guy is by no means on easy-cheesy street with millions to burn and ooo he's such a dick for not giving this away for free.

It's creative content.. the creators, if they want, can ask for a living on it :p
posted by cavalier at 9:44 AM on February 20, 2006


Cavalier, you make a good point. I'm not against them trying to make a buck (or cover their costs, given that they probably LOST money on the last one). It just feels strange given their "hey, we're doing this, and it's totally free" statements in the last series.

Now, if I could find out how to get the new series through iTunes, I'd be happy.
posted by aberrant at 9:47 AM on February 20, 2006


Oh sure, aberrant, sorry, most of my comment was for basicchannel and I should have labelled it as such. And yes.. It's a bit of an odd position.. "hey we're totally free, and, hey, now we're totally pay!"
posted by cavalier at 9:51 AM on February 20, 2006


Now, if I could find out how to get the new series through iTunes, I'd be happy.

Probably will just be a pay-per-episode download. Not all of the podcasts they list are free (not that I've actually seen a pay one, mind you, but there's clearly an option there to pay for them).

I think I would be more inclinded to download them for $1 an episode. If that's the price at the iTunes Music Store, then they'll sell plenty of them.
posted by smallerdemon at 10:21 AM on February 20, 2006


i can understand the need to charge, but i think it unlikely that i'll be paying, mainly because i can't find an easy way to pay in euro's.

i know i'm missing out, but i'll live
posted by quarsan at 11:14 AM on February 20, 2006


I've laughed at little else as hard as I've laughed at this initial series. However, as they've progressed, it's gotten a bit rote. Couple that with the advertising content that's snuck into the program and the aforementioned fact that there's a whole world of free content still out there, I'll likely not pay. Could be though that with the bills paid they'll step up their game.
That said, it was a good run of generally good fun.
Oh eff it: 'meh,' says I.
posted by chandy72 at 11:51 AM on February 20, 2006


I'm undecided whether Karl Pilkington is genuinely moronic or one of the greatest comic creations out there. Either way, it's cheap enough and funny enough that I'm perfectly willing to spring for it.
posted by kaemaril at 12:23 PM on February 20, 2006


quarsan, I'd just keep an eye out on your torrent site of choice and you should be good to go.
posted by pivotal at 2:46 PM on February 20, 2006


On behalf of content creators everywhere, sigh. :p
posted by cavalier at 5:24 PM on February 20, 2006


On behalf of content creators everywhere, sigh.

I've created some content in my day, some of it for filthy lucre, and you're sure as hell not speaking on my behalf.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 8:57 PM on February 20, 2006


Even if he were a multi-zillioniare, should he necessarily give away good material for free? Last I heard, movie stars didn't start giving away their services when they'd amassed a fortune.
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:16 PM on February 20, 2006


I'm not saying the guy is a pauper, but for all your jealousy he is not a millionaire (yet?) unless he has a very astute financial advisor.

He's getting 300,000 pounds for licencing The Office to France - for them to do a complete remake called Le Bureau.

He might just be quite rich.
posted by meech at 12:05 AM on February 21, 2006


Wow!

And,
On behalf of content creators everywhere, sigh except Ishmael Graves because he is punk rock and doesn't want to be paid for his work.
posted by cavalier at 3:47 AM on February 21, 2006


On behalf of content creators everywhere, sigh except Ishmael Graves because he is punk rock and doesn't want to be paid for his work.

And me.
posted by jimmy at 7:40 AM on February 21, 2006


:)
posted by cavalier at 8:27 AM on February 21, 2006


I'll be paying up, if only to keep Karl the K-Man Pilkington's mortgage up to date. The 12 podcasts so far have often been stream of consciousness gibberish but they have made me laugh far harder than anything else recently.
posted by greycap at 2:29 PM on February 21, 2006


Ricky Gervais is totally loaded by now what with the Flanimals books and the selling of those movie rights and The Office syndication and dvd sales of Extras/The Office and what not but meech is right, you don't just hit a money ceiling and then work pro bono from then on. Although movie stars and the like probably could, maybe even should? hmmm
posted by AJD at 5:53 PM on February 21, 2006


« Older Don't take your sexual frustration out on your bas...  |  Drugs on the Rez.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments