Comedian Louis C.K. has announced via Twitter that he plans to sell a soon-to-air HBO special for $5 "a few months" after it debuts on the premium cable network. Perhaps even more notably, C.K. says the standup show will be available globally and free of any DRM. It's not unusual for HBO to sell such comedy specials via traditional physical media, but it's very much unprecedented to see the company relinquish control of that content and allow it to be offered digitally with few viewing restrictions.
I am doing a standup special for HBO.It will be avail on louisck.com a few months after HBO, globally,5$ no dmr— Louis C.K. (@louisck) November 12, 2012
Yet if anyone has the evidence to prove DRM an unnecessary hindrance, it's probably Louis C.K. His first instance of cutting out the middleman came last year when he sold a professionally-produced standup recording to fans for $5. The experiment proved wildly successful and C.K. eventually decided to apply the same thinking to ticket sales. Again fans proved receptive to the idea. Yet arranging such a consumer-friendly deal with HBO could be seen as Louis C.K.'s biggest triumph yet. One man has convinced a huge corporation to play ball, guaranteeing that his fans come out the winners.