Posted by: crudbasher | December 14, 2011

An Example of the Internet Disaggregation Effect

In order to understand the news we see every day it helps to have certain fundamental understandings. At some point in the past year I figured out in what way the Internet is a disruptive force. Because the cost to distribute information is so low, it allows a restructuring of many things in our society. I call this process disaggregation. I wrote a ton more on this concept in an epic two part post called Deconstructing Disaggregation so I won’t rehash the whole argument here, but I will point to this story I saw today which is evidence of this in practice.

A comedian released a video of one of his shows for $5 on his website. It didn’t go to DVD or end up on a network like traditional forms of distribution. Just a content producer selling directly to his fans.

It was a risky experiment. He didn’t protect the content in any way. People could download it and have it afterwards. Still, I think the price was right. People will pay for something they could get for free with some effort. The price has to be right.

There is also a bonus for the artist. He now has a list of email address and contact info of his most loyal fans. This is a way of directly connecting with the people that matters the most to his career. He could offer his next special at a discount to people who supported him this time. He could also do a special live event. The fans get more and for a lower price. The artist profits more directly. Everyone wins. Except for the media distribution business of course.

So, how much are people willing to pay for an education and what happens when someone offers it for a lower price? This disaggregation force is the largest cloud in the approaching Stormfront of change.

    • Comedian Louis CK has announced some numbers related to his recent experiment to sell his latest comedy special, Live at the Beacon Theater, for $5 online, instead of offering it through a distributor.
    • In the post, he says that the special, which went on sale, Saturday, December 10th, had sold 50,000 ‘units’ and earned $250k, covering the production costs. As of today, 110k copies had been sold, for a total intake of over $500k, bringing him a profit of $200k so far.
    • The experiment was remarkable because it flies in the face of conventional wisdom about video distribution on the web. The offering is simple, $5 via PayPal (or credit card) and you would receive two streaming views and two downloads of the special. There was no DRM restrictions and no special preventative measures taken with regards to piracy.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. […] article by Thomas Freedman of the New York Times has some interesting examples of the Disaggregation effect I have been focused on for a number of months. While I tend to come from the right side of […]

  2. […] is yet another example of the Internet Disaggregation […]

  3. […] be used by people not connected to the initial creators. This is actually another manifestation of disaggregation. Researchers can collect the data but others can use the data and derive other meanings from […]

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