Louis C.K., stand-up comedian and creator of the series Louie, is adopting an unconventional business model for his upcoming tour — he'll be selling all the tickets online directly to fans, with no middle man. All tickets will sell for the actual face price of $45 without any taxes or additional fees, which C.K. says is cheaper than anyone's paid to see him in two years and half the cost of most tickets from last year. As he explains:
Making my shows affordable has always been my goal but two things have always worked against that. High ticket charges and ticket re-sellers marking up the prices. Some ticketing services charge more than 40% over the ticket price and, ironically, the lower I've made my ticket prices, the more scalpers have bought them up, so the more fans have paid for a lot of my tickets.
By selling the tickets exclusively on my site, I've cut the ticket charges way down and absorbed them into the ticket price. To buy a ticket, you join NOTHING. Just use your credit card and buy the damn thing. opt in to the email list if you want, and you'll only get emails from me.
C.K. also intends to enforce a strict policy of canceling any tickets that are sold for over the face value, though it's unclear exactly how this will be measured. The tour runs from October to February, and will take in some "new" venues — C.K. notes that certain theaters weren't able to comply with the new ticketing system. It's not the first time the comedian has leveraged the internet as a means to the same end — last year he found huge success by selling his Live at the Beacon Theatre show exclusively via his website as a DRM-free $5 download.