Most stand-up comedians released live material through major entertainment distributors, but Louis CK has been raking in about $50,000 per day simply by recording two of his performances and selling them direct to fans.
As well as getting a good cut of the profits for himself, Louis CK has been able to offer the material at around $5 a hit, which is approximately 25% of what he estimates a major entertainment company would have charged. He also notes that customers can buy the material without signing up to a website, and without having their details stored.
Given the level of success that Louis CK has enjoyed, it’s likely that other comedians will start to look into this type of business model. For the major entertainment companies, however, this could be a worrying sign.