Does Louis C.K.’s “experiment” confirm the importance of Reddit?

Louis C.K.'s new online-only video special, Live at the Beacon Theater, made over $200,000 in profit in just four days. Some credit his appearance on Reddit with the spike in sales. 

Mar 3, 2020, 9:59 am*


Kevin Collier 

Kevin Collier

Reddit’s popular question-and-answer segments—known as an AMA (Ask Me Anything)—could become an essential part of the entertainment industry’s promotional strategy.

Or at least that seems to be the consensus after Louis C.K. announced yesterday his new online-only video special, Live at the Beacon Theater, made over $200,000 in profit in four days from direct sales from his website.

While boasting a 20-year career and currently starring in the FX program Louie, many credited C.K.’s massively successful AMA session with the boost in sales. In fact, the announcement of the sales figures made the front page of the social news site today, where plenty of redditors indicated the Q&A convinced them to buy the $5 album.

“Indeed, I bought it because of the AMA and I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise,” wrote qwrirq.

“I know Reddit generally likes him,” 1stGenRex wrote. “I came here and saw he was cool enough to do an AMA, so I figured ‘What the hell, it’s $5’ and bought it.”

For some redditors, C.K.’s success reiterated the importance of Reddit.

“A Reddit AMA is essentially like going on Letterman or The Daily Show,” polyparadigm wrote. “Except you target the early-adopter crowd, you get a chance to edit every response, and you don’t have to travel.

While his AMA focused mostly on his career and thoughts on comedy, C.K. brought up his album sale several times while answering questions.

“This special, if it explosed, cause really it’s only been up for 2 days, more like a pre-sale,” the comedian wrote. “If it really tears an asshole into the money monster who then shits dollars into my mouth (oh my god what’s wrong with me) then I will use that money to buy a home and get some security which i NEVER have had in my life and have certainly not gotten from my low budget show.”

In his announcement on his personal site, C.K. both shared his expenses and thanked his fans. The statement has received over 16,000 “Likes” on Facebook and has been tweeted almost a thousand times.

“What I didn’t expect when I started this was that people would not only take part in this experiment, they would be invested in it and it would be important to them. It’s been amazing to see people in large numbers advocating this idea,” he wrote. “I really hope people keep buying it a lot, so I can have shitloads of money, but at this point I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked.”

For the entertainment industry, the real Reddit experiment, however, is only beginning.

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*First Published: Dec 14, 2011, 12:46 pm