Hello there. I am Louis C.K. for now. You are a person who opted into my email list, when you bought my Live at the Beacon standup special. As I promised, I have left you alone for a long time. Well, those days are over. I am writing now to let you know that I am offering some more stuff on my site, which you are more than welcome to buy. What does "More than welcome" mean? Well, it means you can totally buy this stuff. Like, totally.
Okay so there are two new products. They are both audio comedy specials. One is called...
Louis CK: WORD - Live at Carnegie Hall
This is about an hour long and it's a recording of a live standup show that I did at Carnegie Hall in November of 2010 as part of a national tour I was on entitled, "WORD." I've had a lot of requests from people to release that show as a special or as a CD. I hadn't done so because a lot of the material that I did on the WORD tour was in the second season of my show "LOUIE" on FX. But I decided since it's never been released as an entire show, and some of the material was not on my show, I'm releasing this now. I'm giving you this long and boring explaination because, as most of you know, I release about an hour or more of new standup material every year and folks can count on seeing a new show every year. This is old material, so I don't want to be a dick and pretend it isn't.
Anyway, Louis CK: WORD - Live at Carnegie hall is available for the same 5 dollars as everything will be. It is the same deal as before that you get 4 downloads and the file is DRM free. You can burn it onto a CD, play it on your ipod, whatever you want. The special is broken up into separate tracks because I think that's more fun for a comedy album, but they are all just one thing you buy all at one time.
The second new thing is even older, actually. It's an audio release of "Shameless", my very first hour long standup special that I did for HBO. It was never released as an audio CD, so I asked HBO to let me offer it on this site and they agreed. They also agreed to let me offer it, the same as the rest, DRM free, for 5 dollars. Obviously I'll be sharing the Shameless money with HBO but I think it's pretty cool that they're letting this be out there unprotected like this. Shameless is also 5 dollars, DRM free, and you can download it a bunch of times for the price.
Lastly, I'm offering Live at the Beacon Theater as an audio version, for those many of you who have asked for it. This is just exactly an audio version of the video special. Those of you who have already bought Live at the Beacon theater already own this. If you login with your password, it is now live and available for you to download at no extra cost. Those of you who now buy LIve at the Beacon Theater for 5 dollars, will also have the audio version availbable to you. It's simply been added to the video downloads and streams you already were getting.
Later, I am going to make a version of Live at the Beacon Theater, that is a separate audio special, which will be much longer. That will cost money. Because I'm an asshole. But that's later.
Also later, actually soon, I'll be putting my first feature film "Tomorrow Night' up for sale on the site. And also other things. Soon. For now.
You may have noticed that Louis CK LIve at the Beacon Theater is airing on the FX network. FX agreed to air it 10 times over the next few months. The version on FX is only 42 minutes long and we had to take out the fucks. The reason I chose to air the special on FX is that FX is my people. They gave me my show LOUIE (season 3 premieres on June 28th at 10:30pm) and they have never aired a standup special. So I thought it would be cool to let them air it and bring more people to the site who want to get the complete unexpurgated version. Also FX doesn't make me cut things for content. Just the big words (fuck, etc)
Okay. that was exhausting. Sorry. I didn't even ask you how you are. How are you? Oh yeah? Oh good. That's great. What? Oh man. That's tough. I'm sorry... Oh well that sounds like you handled it well, though. So. Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know that's... yeah. Well... Just remember, time will go by and that'll just be on the list of shit that happened to you. You'll be okay. Yeah. Huh?... Oh. Really? HE DID? Oh my GOD! hahaha!! That's CRAZY! No. No. I won't tell him you told me. Of course not. Alright well... uhuh? Oh wow. Yeah. Alright well... I really gotta go.
Thanks for listening. I'm glad you're basically okay. Stay in touch.
hi. So it's been about 12 days since the thing started and yesterday we hit the crazy number. One million dollars. That's a lot of money. Really too much money. I've never had a million dollars all of a sudden. and since we're all sharing this experience and since it's really your money, I wanted to let you know what I'm doing with it. People are paying attention to what's going on with this thing. So I guess I want to set an example of what you can do if you all of a sudden have a million dollars that people just gave to you directly because you told jokes.
So I'm breaking the million into four pieces.
the first 250k is going to pay back what the special cost to produce and the website to build.
The second 250k is going back to my staff and the people who work for me on the special and on my show. I'm giving them a big fat bonus.
The third 280k is going to a few different charities. They are listed below in case you'd like to donate to them also. Some of these i learned about through friends, some were reccomended through twitter.
That leaves me with 220k for myself. Some of that will pay my rent and will care for my childen. The rest I will do terrible, horrible things with and none of that is any of your business. In any case, to me, 220k is enough out of a million.
I never viewed money as being "my money" I always saw it as "The money" It's a resource. if it pools up around me then it needs to be flushed back out into the system.
The thing is still on sale. I hope folks keep buying it. If I make another million, I'll give more of it away. I'll let you know when that happens because I like you getting to know what happened to your 5 dollars and bringing awareness to the bla bla bla.
Okay I really gotta go now. Thank you again. I will now stop bugging you. I really hate being in the news this much so I'm gonna just disappear for a while.
People of Earth (minus the ones who don't give a shit about this): it's been amazing to conduct this experiment with you. The experiment was: if I put out a brand new standup special at a drastically low price ($5) and make it as easy as possible to buy, download and enjoy, free of any restrictions, will everyone just go and steal it? Will they pay for it? And how much money can be made by an individual in this manner?
It's been 4 days. A lot of people are asking me how it's going. I've been hesitant to share the actual figures, because there's power in exclusive ownership of information. What I didn't expect when I started this was that people would not only take part in this experiment, they would be invested in it and it would be important to them. It's been amazing to see people in large numbers advocating this idea. So I think it's only fair that you get to know the results. Also, it's just really cool and fun and I'm dying to tell everybody. I told my Mom, I told three friends, and that wasn't nearly enough. So here it is.
First of all, this was a premium video production, shot with six cameras over two performances at the Beacon Theater, which is a high-priced elite Manhattan venue. I directed this video myself and the production of the video cost around $170,000. (This was largely paid for by the tickets bought by the audiences at both shows). The material in the video was developed over months on the road and has never been seen on my show (LOUIE) or on any other special. The risks were thus: every new generation of material I create is my income, it's like a farmer's annual crop. The time and effort on my part was far more than if I'd done it with a big company. If I'd done it with a big company, I would have a guarantee of a sizable fee, as opposed to this way, where I'm actually investing my own money.
The development of the website, which needed to be a very robust, reliable and carefully constructed website, was around $32,000. We worked for a number of weeks poring over the site to make sure every detail would give buyers a simple, optimal and humane experience for buying the video. I edited the video around the clock for the weeks between the show and the launch.
The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. As of Today, we've sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58). This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.
I really hope people keep buying it a lot, so I can have shitloads of money, but at this point I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked. If anybody stole it, it wasn't many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it. And so now we all get to know that about people and stuff. I'm really glad I put this out here this way and I'll certainly do it again. If the trend continues with sales on this video, my goal is that i can reach the point where when I sell anything, be it videos, CDs or tickets to my tours, I'll do it here and I'll continue to follow the model of keeping my price as far down as possible, not overmarketing to you, keeping as few people between you and me as possible in the transaction.
(Of course i reserve the right to go back on all of this and sign a massive deal with a company that pays me fat coin and charges you straight up the ass.). (This is you: yes Louie. And we'll all enjoy torrenting that content. You fat sweaty dolt).
I probably sound kind of crazy right now. It's been a really fun and intense few days. This video was paid for by people who bought tickets, and then bought by people who wanted to see that same show. I got to do exactly the show I wanted, and exactly the show you wanted.
I also got an education. And everything i learned are things i was happy to learn.
I learned that people are interested in what happens and shit (i didn't go to college)
I learned that money can be a lot of things. It can be something that is hoarded, fought over, protected, stolen and withheld. Or it can be like an energy, fueled by the desire, will, creative interest, need to laugh, of large groups of people. And it can be shuffled and pushed around and pooled together to fuel a common interest, jokes about garbage, penises and parenthood.
I want to thank Blair Breard who produced this video and produces my series LOUIE, and I want to thank Caspar and Giles at Version Industries, who created the website.
I hope with all of my heart that I stay funny. Otherwise this all goes to hell. Please have a safe and happy holiday, and thank you again for all this crazy shit.