$5 Is the Price of Online Comedy

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If it the business model isn't broke, don't fix it. Just copy it, like Aziz Ansari did today riffing off of fellow comedian Louis C.K.'s million-dollar idea. In 10 days in December, Louis C.K. managed to rake in over $1 Million by putting a $5 (PayPal or Amazon) price tag on an online version of his performance at New York City's Beacon Theater. It was a wonderfully honest, unfettered way to appeal to fans and at the same time fight the image of selling out to ticket middlemen like Ticketmaster--something that aligns well with C.K.'s brand. And the massive response became a viral story in its own right.

So we don't blame Aziz Ansari for taking a similar route today, as he put his Dangerously Delicious standup online for the same $5 price tag today. And the similarities don't stop there.  Check out the landing pages which feature similar Buy/Preview format from both comedians, C.K.'s first:

And Ansari's: 

"It seems like this is the thing to do at this moment when so much is changing and nobody's really figured out how to do anything," Ansari told the AP. "In this era, the way people consume media, the way people release media has not caught up." Catching up, it seems, means following C.K.'s lead. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.