Back in the day it used to be that if you wanted to get a DVD – or CD for that matter – of your favorite performer, you'd go to their website and then you'd get redirected to Amazon or their agent's website to order. There always has been this “middle-man” to get what you wanted.
Now, I don't know a lot about Louis C.K. I know he's a comedian – pretty popular (has been on Kimmel, etc) and he swears in his act (which is a huge turn-off for me). I'm more of a Brian Regan fan (if you haven't seen his stuff – I commend to you this video).
Recently, Louis decided to sell one of his live performances online through his website – downloadable, for $5. That's right – no iTunes, Amazon or nothing. He set up his PayPal account through his website to collect payment and folks could immediately watch the act or download it. He put a simple, “do not pirate this video – please” notice and that was that.
Guess what he made in 12 days?
What this means for you and me
I know that many of us do not have the notoriety that Louis does. Without an established fan-base, it would be very difficult for us to ship a product in 12 days to 200,000 folks. So, being well established is very important.
But just think of what Louis did. He shipped a product to his fans by himself and collected all the proceeds. And, while I think his attitude on money is also of note – and worthy of a separate post – he did not have to pay a distributor, an agent or a publisher to get his product out.
Imagine what this means for you and for me. Again, while we don't have the reach that Louis does – this is the new age of distribution. No longer do you have to use the middle-man. You can ship direct.
The well-known marketer Seth Godin, is noted for using the term “tribes” to discuss how most of us – given a loyal and active following of 1,000 people – could probably make a decent living.
Which now begs the question.. what are you and me waiting for? :)