updated 06:45 pm EDT, Fri March 30, 2012
Louis CK online-first video to air on TV
Louis CK's successful online-only comedy video is promising to reverse the traditional model again through a TV deal. The Live at the Beacon Theater show will air on FX mostly uncensored in what Louis described as a "commercial, sort of" for the online version. FX president John Landgraf has noted that it could see the show qualify for an Emmy award.
The popular show Louie also gave the comedian a sense of "loyalty" to FX that helped the decision.
Most TV networks and content producers still see the Internet as a promotional tool, since it both has lower overall viewership and its ad revenue, when relevant, is lower than on TV. Louis CK's approach has been credited to a combination of a relatively low $5 price and selling it as an unprotected, standard video that could play on nearly any computer or device, giving it maximum exposure. Whatever reduced viewership existed was compensated with Louis and crew getting much more of the income, as they had none of the overhead of DVD or TV production.
A handful of other well-known comedians have since followed suit, including Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan. If successful, they may establish a pattern where avoiding DVD and TV is more common. [via New York Observer]