Monday, February 20, 2012

Jim Gaffigan

You may remember a few weeks ago we talked about Louis CK releasing his most recent standup special through his own site. It was a pretty good example of what content creators could be doing to combat piracy: it was cheap ($5 for a one-hour show), convenient (instant download, payable through PayPal), and provided a DRM-free file that could be watched whenever and wherever the customer wanted. It also happened to be massively successful, bringing in over a million dollars in under two weeks.

One of these factors (let's be honest, probably the money) had to be alluring enough to inspire emulation, and it was only a matter of time before a similarly big time name decided to try their hand at a similar experiment. Sure enough, fellow comedian Jim Gaffigan announced earlier this week that he'd be following in CK's footsteps and releasing his own special in the same vein this April.  Proceeds will also go to the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

Many wrote off CK's success as a novelty - as people being interested in this intriguing experiment and wanting to participate. It will be interesting, then, to see how well Gaffigan's own special does. Were people really just excited for the "newness" of what was happening, or is the entire format appealing enough for sustained commercial support? This follow up go could have a lot to say in how creators continue to release their content in an ever-increasingly digital world.

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