Chill’s Louis C.K.-Inspired Distribution Platform Puts Artists In Control

By Megan O'Neill, the social video discovery platform that launched earlier this year, is getting into distribution with Chill Direct.  Chill Direct launched today as a “turnkey platform for artists to produce, own and distribute content directly to their fans.”

Using Chill Direct, content producers and artists will be able to upload and host their content, as well as choose a price for their videos—anywhere between $1.99 and $49.99.  The creator retains seventy percent of the revenue their video brings in, while Chill gets 30 percent to cover fees for hosting and payment services.

According to a press release, “Unlike releasing content through app stores, music stores, a broadcast network or a film studio, Chill Direct imbues artists with creative control and flexibility over their material and allows them full ownership of Intellectual Property.  Chill Direct also helps artists build powerful social communities around their work through integration with Facebook and Twitter and world-class page creation tools.”

The service is launching with an exclusive slate of content from eight premium content creators.  The lineup includes Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special!, an hour long comedy special; Please Subscribe, a documentary about the lives of YouTube stars; The New Kind, a sci-fi series; Battlefield of the Mind, a documentary about America’s homeless veterans and those suffering from PTSD; Ari Shaffir Comedy Special, another hour-long comedy special, Julien & Claire, a narrative feature about an American dancer and French musician; and Unknown Sender, a suspense series from writer-producer Steven E. De Souza (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Die Hard 1 & 2, 48 Hours, Commando).

Chill Co-Founder Brian Norgard told Variety that the service was inspired, in part, by comedian Louis C.K., who wowed the web back in June when he grossed more than $1 million selling his comedy special on his website.  “We were watching the Louis C.K. one-off in awe and looked at the details of what he did and its costs.  We wanted to see from a product designers’ perspective what we could do if we could take that cost to practically nothing.”

Norgard says, “Chill is a critical step towards and ecosystem where artists are finally in control of their creative destiny.  For filmmakers, comedians and musicians it will soon become essential to be able to distribute their best work directly to fans.  We’re going to make it easy for anyone with a creative vision to distribute their work to millions of people.  Amazing work should have no boundaries.”

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.