Louis C.K. Internet Comedy Special Is Already Profitable

Showrunners Louis C.K. Headshot

"Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater," which has been selling online for $5, has made a profit of around $200,000, according to the comedian.

NEW YORK - Comedian Louis C. K. has already turned a profit on a comedy special that is available for sale only through his Web site, the New York Times reported.

The performer said the results of his experiment - closely followed as the entertainment industry eyes new business models in the digital age - encouraged him enough to sell future concert tickets or other works on his Web site.

The special, Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater, has sold more than 110,000 copies of the special, which became available Saturday for $5, the performer said in a Tuesday night post on louisck.net, according to the Times. More than 50,000 of the sales came in the first 12 hours.

From the gross sales of more than $500,000, Louis C. K. said he subtracted about $170,000 for production costs, about $32,000 for the development of his site and other costs, getting him to a profit of about $200,000, according to the Times.

“We can safely say that the experiment really worked,” the comedian wrote. “If anybody stole it, it wasn’t many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it.”
The $5 buys fans two downloads and two streams of the stand-up special filmed during the New York Comedy Festival last month.

"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,” Louis C.K. said in his blog post before quipping: “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.”

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai