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Louis C.K. has done it. Now Aziz Ansari is doing it too. Breaking out from traditional distribution methods for comedy specials. It began when Louis C.K, sold his DRM free $5 special, earning him $1 million in less than two weeks. Ansari follows suit.

But Ansari isn't releasing sales numbers for his own $5 download, - the one hour comedy special titled Dangerously Delicious that hit the web on Wednesday. So far, he's been happy with the response.

“People are really excited that I’m releasing the special this way as opposed to going to DVD,” says Ansari.

Ansari says he's not seen negative feedback on twitter in terms of copying Louis C.K.'s model. But what differentiates Ansari from C.K.’s route is that he did no press before the release.

“I just decided whenever we announce it, it’s going to be available right away,” explains Ansari, who will soon be promoting the special on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Conan.

We received a promo video to share, check it out. Its NSFW though:




The point of this experiment-turned-trend is that people are willing to pay a reasonable amount for DRM-free content, delivered directly to them by a performer they love.

It’s also proven how powerful social media marketing can be when done outside the realm of a network brand.

“You have content flowing through there that’s both funny and innovative, but I think you also have some people who are realizing that a directly addressable fanbase is an extremely valuable thing to have going forward,” says Erik Flannigan, EVP of digital media at Viacom. “Growing that base ends up probably helping those people out and raising their profile beyond what their current television work life might be.”

Twitter has played a huge role in Ansari’s nontraditional social marketing campaign. The approach is straightforward as the comedy special itself — he’s talking directly to his fans through informal media outlets like Reddit, and getting up in front of them to drum up goodwill and awareness. He’s even gone so far as to take his fans out to lunch.