1. Web

$5 buys you DRM-free comedy with LOLFlix

Never underestimate the impact of Louis C.K. Not content with writing, directing and starring in his own critically-acclaimed sitcom on FX, the comedian’s outreach to fans directly via the Internet has inspired a brand-new website looking to make all-new comedy footage available directly to fans for an affordable price, DRM-free, via LOLFlix.com.

Describing itself as “the new Netflix for stand-up comedy,” the site launched last month as a subsidiary of LOL Comedy TV, a company that stages and films stand-up comedy performances for television and online distribution. LOLFlix is, as the site explains, “dedicated to presenting stand-up comedy the way it was meant to be seen – Uncut, Uncensored and Unapologetic.”

LOLFlix makes specially-filmed stand-up performances available for three downloads and one 30-day stream for just $5, with instant streaming of titles available separately for just $2.99. The downloaded files are in high-definition 1080p and free of any digital rights management software, and are “iTunes, Quicktime and smart device friendly,” while streams are available to any device or computer with Internet access from anywhere across the world.

In both the announcement of the service and on the LOLFlix site itself, Louis C.K. was cited multiple times as the inspiration behind its creation.  “It’s the future and the way things will be done,” site creator Scott Montoya explained in the announcement. “Louis C.K. proved that you can self distribute directly to fans if you make content easy for them to own and available for a reasonable price point without restrictions.” Similarly, the site goes on to say that “we may not even be considering this way of delivering our shows directly to you if it was not for, in our opinion, one very important, inspirational, talented and very funny guy who did it first, Louis CK,” going on to describe his self-financed release Louis C.K. at The Beacon as a “historic release (yes, historic).”

The affordability of the material is something that the site’s owners hope will deter any piracy of its content. “All we ask is that you don’t do it. It’s that simple,” runs the site’s FAQ. “Hacking this comedy and posting it on YouTube or Vimeo or any of a half-dozen Torrent sites that allow for the hacking of other peoples’ hard works, is just not right and it’s really bad Karma… Please, it’s only $5 bucks, about the same as a gallon of gas.”

The site launched with 30 exclusive titles from Snoop Dogg Presents the Bad Girls of Comedy to Bridging the Gap: The Middle East Comedy Talks (with Pauly Shore and Friends and Tom Arnold’s That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It in between), and plans to add an additional 20 titles over the course of the next year.

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