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

  • Sebastian Maniscalco

    Sebastian Maniscalco to Host MTV VMAs

    MTV has announced that comedian, actor and best-selling author Sebastian Maniscalco will host the 2019 “VMAs” live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Monday, Aug. 26. Last year, Maniscalco published his best selling book “Stay Hungry,” followed by a stand up tour of the same name. The comedian has also sold out [...]

  • T-Pain, Faheem Rashad Najm. T-Pain performs

    TV News Roundup: 'T-Pain's School of Business' Sets August Premiere

    In today’s roundup, “T-Pain’s School of Business” sets an August 6 premiere on Fuse, and OWN greenlights a new talks series. EXECUTIVE NEWS Matt Brodlie is leaving his role as director of original film at Netflix to join the Disney+ content marketing team as senior vice president of international content development. In his new role, [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs For Screens: Labrinth on Scoring HBO’s Drake-Produced Drama 'Euphoria'

    British singer-songwriter Labrinth (née Timothy Lee McKenzie) has been having one of the biggest years of his nearly decade-long career, from the April release of his collaborative album with L.S.D. (a.k.a. Labrinth Sia & Diplo) to his starring role in the latest campaign for MINI, where he reinterprets Cole Porter’s cowboy classic “Don’t Fence Me [...]

  • The Office

    'The Office' to Stream Exclusively on NBCUniversal Service Beginning in 2021

    NBCUniversal announced Tuesday that it will begin streaming “The Office” exclusively on its standalone streaming service beginning in 2021. The popular comedy series will leave Netflix once the current deal with NBCU expires at the end of 2020, the same year that NBCU plans to launch its ad-supported streaming service. All nine seasons of the [...]

  • 'Lincoln Lawyer' Series in Development at

    'Lincoln Lawyer' Series in Development at CBS from David E. Kelley

    David E. Kelley is returning once more to the court of legal dramas. CBS has issued a series production commitment for “The Lincoln Lawyer,” with Kelley in position to pen and executive produce. Based on the series of bestselling novels by Michael Connelly, the show hails from A+E Studios in association with CBS TV Studios. [...]

  • Patrick Somerville'Maniac' TV Show premiere, London,

    'Maniac' Creator to Helm 'Made for Love,' 'Station Eleven' for WarnerMedia

    “Maniac” creator Patrick Somerville has signed on to helm two new series, “Made for Love” and “Station Eleven,” for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service. “Made for Love,” which will be executive produced and directed by S.J. Clarkson, is a 10-episode, straight-to-series adaptation based on the novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting. The half-hour comedy [...]

  • Naomi Watts and Gretchen Carlson'The Loudest

    ‘The Loudest Voice’ Stars Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe Talk Roger Ailes

    Roger Ailes may have been the force behind the creation of Fox News, but the late newsman’s legacy will forever be his atrocious sexual harassment of several of the network’s female anchors and producers. Showtime premiered its new limited series “The Loudest Voice,” which chronicles Ailes’ rise and fall, on Monday night at the Paris [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content