Louis C.K., a very funny man, is selling his latest live show “Live At The Beacon Theatre” as a DRM-free direct movie download for $5 (via PayPal) from his website, in a stand against corporate restrictions and in recognition of the ‘connected’ generation.
I’ve read at least one well-regarded web pundit comment on whether this will pave the way for more artists to bypass the publishers. It’s worth noting Radiohead tried the very same tactic in October 2007 (over 4 years ago), and that didn’t really set off any shifts in distribution methods.
While it may be nice to think artists could be successful bypassing the various corporate channels, I think they still need to find a way to consolidate the distribution if they want to compete against services like Spotify and iTunes. In a world where consumers expect more functionality from fewer services (corporate ‘ecosystems’ like those of Apple and Amazon), they are not going to go to individual websites to download DRM-free content on a mass scale.