×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chill Direct aims to spur self-distribution biz

Vid site inspired by Louis C.K. digital comedy special

A fleet of comedians and filmmakers are hoping to replicate the direct-to-consumer model popularized by Louis C.K. via a new product enabling self-service digital distribution.

Chill, a social-video platform whose backers include WME, has rounded up unreleased standup performances and films aiming for paying auds outside traditional outlets across devices. The inaugural slate includes work from comedian Maria Bamford and actor-director Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”).

Chill Direct allows artists to create a virtual storefront on its platform, where they can price their own content and retain ownership of intellectual property. Service covers everything from uploading of longform video to real-time data tracking viewership.

The service was inspired in part by Louis C.K., who drew notice in June for selling a standup special to fans through his website, a model that has been since used by other top comics including Jim Gaffigan and Aziz Ansari.

“We were watching the Louis C.K. one-off in awe and looked at the details of what he did and its costs,” said Brian Norgard, founder of Chill. “We wanted to see from a product designers’ perspective what we could do if we could take that cost to practically nothing.”

Chill Direct’s business model dictates a 70/30 split of all revenues derived from content, with the majority of coin going to the creator. Select artists Chill is particularly interested in working with receive some funding, but that won’t be made available to all who use the service.

Chill will continue to operate as a video-sharing hub, enabling content consumption in a social-driven environment more reminiscent of Pinterest than YouTube. The company will look to leverage activity to drive eyeballs to Chill Direct, which can also be integrated with an artist’s social-media presence.

Chill Direct is also exploring ties with leading digital distributors, including Netflix, that would make content on its platform available for consumption elsewhere.

While Chill Direct will make content available for purchase on a nonexclusive basis, it will have an exclusive first window on some content including “The New Kind,” an animated sci-fi series from writer-director Peter Hyoguchi that was funded via Kickstarter and features the work of 200 artists in 29 countries.

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: TBS Unveils 'Miracle

    TV News Roundup: TBS Unveils Trailer for 'Miracle Workers: Dark Ages'

    In today’s TV news roundup, TBS releases the first look at Season 2 of “Miracle Workers” and Netflix announces the premiere date for “Cheer.” CASTINGS:  Nickelodeon has called on comedian and writer Adam Conover to host its new family game show “The Crystal Maze.“ In the American rendition of the U.K. series, Conover will take [...]

  • Verve

    Verve Raises Assistant Salaries by Up to 40% in Response to Fair-Pay Movement

    Verve has announced a 25-40% pay increase for its assistants and mailroom employees in response to the #PayUpHollywood movement which has been shining a spotlight on the issue of assistant pay in the industry. The agency, which represents #PayUpHollywood co-founder Liz Alper and regular advocate John August, is also changing its hours to shorten the [...]

  • Golden Globes Zodiac signs

    Golden Globes Nominees as Zodiac Signs

    The Golden Globes nominees aren’t the only stars of awards season. Variety turned to astrology to assign Zodiac signs to this year’s nominees. Some selections required a little more nuance — Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart” is a Virgo with a prominent Sagittarius rising and Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” is a Sagittarius that wishes it were a [...]

  • Morning Show Apple

    Golden Globe Noms: 'The Morning Show' Turns Apple TV Plus Into a Kudos Contender

    “Euphoric” was the word to describe the atmosphere around the Apple TV Plus offices in Culver City, Calif., on Monday morning as staffers awoke to the news that the fledgling service’s cornerstone drama series, “The Morning Show,” had landed three major Golden Globe Award nominations. Apple Worldwide Video had exactly two employees — heads Jamie [...]

  • Succession

    How 'Succession' Costume Designer Dressed the HBO Drama's Leading Men

    Few shows in recent history have received as much attention simply for the clothes as “Succession.” The costuming on the show is indulgent, and impeccable; it arguably plays as big a role as the actors. Entire articles have been written about Shiv’s backless turtleneck — her clothes and her hair. The men on the show [...]

  • Game of Thrones Avengers Endgame

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers: Endgame' Among Most Popular Tweets of 2019

    Twitter released its top-trending topics and tweets of 2019 with “Game of Thrones,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and actor Tom Holland commanding the most tweets in the TV, movies, and actors categories. BTS holds both the No. 1 spot in the most-tweeted-about musicians category and the second-most-retweeted tweet worldwide. Since its release in June, a video of [...]

  • Andrew Scott'1917' film premiere, Arrivals, London,

    'Fleabag' Star Andrew Scott Teases Future Projects With Phoebe Waller-Bridge

    To the delight of “Fleabag” fans everywhere, the “Hot Priest” Andrew Scott received his first-ever Golden Globe nomination Monday morning. His role instantly became an internet phenomenon, thanks in large part to his chemistry with “Fleabag” creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge. He’s up against Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”), Kieran Culkin (“Succession”), Stellan Skarsgård (“Chernobyl”) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content