After providing customers with affordable video game, music, and ebook packages, the Humble Bundle is giving comedy a shot. The pay-what-you-want distribution service has put together its first ever Humble Comedy Bundle, offering up specials from Louis CK, Maria Bamford, and other top comedians for whatever price the purchaser chooses.
The Humble Bundle got its start by offering up a group of indie video games, all of which had previous attained some degree of popularity via platforms like Steam. In addition to being DRM-free, the Humble Bundle allows each buyer to split his purchase however he pleases between participating creators, charities like Child’s Play, and the Humble Bundle platform itself. It also entitles the purchaser to a sense of superiority based on all the cool indie games he gets to share with his friends.
More than a dozen bundles later, the various Humble Bundles (eight of which have offered indie video game packages) have raised more than $50 million, with $20 million going to charity and six digit sums going to many of the creative teams. The platform’s success is a reminder that monetized Internet content isn’t universally ignored; consumers only want to have control of their own terms.
In bringing this system to comedy, the Humble Bundle has enlisted the help of six popular performers, who have all contributed their specials to the combo. Half of these acts–CK, Bamford, and Jim Norton–are contributing videos to mix (with Bamford’s Special Special Special arriving by way of Chill). Thus far, nearly 20,000 bundles have been sold, accumulating more than $167,000 in revenue.
The inclusion of three videos in an otherwise audio-only package may not seem like a step towards the Humble Video Bundle, but keep in mind that pay-to-view platforms like Chill and VHX also started by distributing comedy specials before moving on to more exciting, unique projects. The Humble Bundle will never be a great asset for entirely unknown creators, but it has proven itself to be a lucrative and morally-just platform. Should it fully transition into online video, semi-notable creators should do whatever it takes to bundle up.