Last December Comedian(and Newton's own) Louis CK decided to do a D.I.Y. sale of his stand up DVD "Live At The Beacon Theater" through his website for only $5. By doing this he by-passed Major Distributors, Giant Chain Stores, and Big Networks all taking their cut. In the first 12 hours of the on-line sale he sold 50,000 copies and broke even. After a couple of weeks he made over One Million Dollars, gave $250K in bonuses to the people who worked on it, $280K to charity, and kept $220K for himself. Now fellow comedians Jim Gaffigan and Aziz Anzari are doing the same.
Now Louis is taking the D.I.Y. system on the road by selling tickets to his latest U.S. tour, again through his website only, and for a flat fee of $45. Louis says this is approximately half of what people have been paying to see him live the last couple of tours. By doing this, he is also taking on Scalpers and Ticket Brokers by making harder to resell the tickets for more than face value. He explains this on his website:
"[Y]ou’ll see that if you try to sell the ticket anywhere for anything above the original price, we have the right to cancel your ticket (and refund your money). This is something I intend to enforce. There are some other rules you may find annoying, but they are meant to prevent someone who has no intention of seeing the show from buying the ticket and just flipping it for twice the price from a thousand miles away."
This may not stop individuals from reselling their tickets but it makes it harder for the big Agencies that ream you with the mark up after buying up half the house. Pearl Jam tried something similar with their crusade against Ticketmaster in the 90's and failed. But the ability to "Do It Yourself" has become much easier with the advancement in technology. Radiohead has been doing it for the past couple of albums. They asked to "Pay what you like" for their self released "In Rainbows". Trent Reznor also decided to shuck the Record Label System by deciding to release "The Slip" on-line as soon as they finished it. With no big promotional machine except for the Internet and Word Of Mouth.
So I say Kudos' to Louis C.K. for taking control of his career and trusting his fans to help out and not try to circumvent his system. They seemed to have done so with the DVD sales, hopefully this will work too. It also makes it easier and less expensive for the consumer. Now we have to work on a BYOB system for concerts so we don't have to spend 8 Bucks for a beer.
Louis C.K. is coming to Boston in January. You can get your tickets here.
He's actually telling Ticketmaster, LiveNation and AEG Live (and any other major ticket outlets and promoters) to suck it, not quite the scalpers -- though he is trying to deter scalpers.
About damned, time, too. Others in the entertainment industry should follow suit.
Ticketmaster, Livenationetc. are all nothing but glorified scalpers themselves.