Louis C.K. and HBO: A (Much-Deserved) Match Made in Louis' Wallet

When news hit my Twitter feed yesterday that Louis C.K.'s next stand-up special -- the one based on the act he blessed Dallas with last month -- would premiere on HBO, my first reaction was: Oh, that download-forever thing didn't work. Too bad. I liked paying $5 for some funny I'd own outright.

See also: When You've Run Out of Louis, Turn to the Opie and Anthony Show

But then I saw more Tweets, including C.K.'s own announcement: The special, he said, would be available for download, just not until HBO offers its customers a few-month head start. The Wall Street Journal's All Things D blog explains:


The move might disappoint some digital purists, but it makes plenty of sense for C.K.

He'll get the money and distribution power that HBO, which boasts some 30 million subscribers in the U.S., can tap into. ...

Lesson here: Like we said before, just because you can use the Web doesn't mean you'll only use the Web. Digital gives C.K. and (some) other performers a new option, but it's not an all-or-nothing proposition -- they can now mix and match distribution strategies. Don't be shocked if C.K. ends up doing something similar with the likes of Netflix the next time out.

Good for him. And for us.

And for HBO. It's good for everyone! Oh, except Best Buy. Like everything else that happens to people and things, this is terrible news for Best Buy.

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Joe Tone
Contact: Joe Tone