Profit without DRM?
Since the advent of early file sharing services like Napster and more recently BitTorrents and the like, media producers like record labels, movie houses, etc. have been concerned (read paranoid), about losing control of the distribution of their products.To media producers, Digital Rights Management is a tool to protect their product, their distribution chain and their revenue stream. By most accounts, the artists themselves only receive a small portion of the profits made by media companies, sounds crappy huh?
So what keeps an artist from producing and distributing their media without giving the big guys a cut? Apparently not much!
Comedian Louis CK decided to do just that. He paid a production company around $170,000 to produce a video of a show that he did at the Beacon Theater, (over)paid about $32,000 for a web site and put the video up for sale for $5 a pop… without any DRM!
No DRM, no regional restrictions, no crap. You can download this file, play it as much as you like, burn it to a DVD, whatever.
So how’d that work out for him? In 12 days, he’s made over $1,000,000. Yes, there’s six zeroes behind that number! You do have to consider the fact that he’s already a very well know comedian, so he’s got fans willing to pay to watch a video of him but it’s impressive none the less and a great example of what can be accomplished without the interference of “the man”.