Monty Python YouTube channel results in 23,000% jump in sales?

By Johnny Daniels
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

It’s being claimed that the Monty Python YouTube channel, which shows various clips from the Monty Python sketches, has resulted in a staggering 23,000% jump in Python DVD sales. Is there a bit of serious number massaging going on here or is it total vindication on the part of those who wanted to put the material online for free?

If the 23,000% bit is really true, then those DVD’s must really be flying off the store shelves like rockets, and it just goes to show (MPAA and RIAA) that if you treat people with a bit of respect and give them something for free, they will respond in kind and buy something from you. That strategy seems to have worked fantastically well for the Pythons and now they are doing funny walks all the way to the bank.

It will be interesting to see if any American TV shows will follow the example and start YouTube channels in order to generate DVD revenue. The idea obviously works. I for one wouldn’t mind seeing a South Park or Family Guy YouTube channel set up with high quality clips. It doesn’t even have to be comedy. Any show with memorable scenes can set up on YouTube, put these scenes online as high quality clips, and invite people to buy the DVD’s. What do you think?

[Via Mashable]

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8 Responses to Monty Python YouTube channel results in 23,000% jump in sales?

  1. Hulu hosts all kinds of free TV shows and movies, as do many network websites (Comedy Central, CBS, etc) and I have yet to hear any reports of connected DVD sales spikes.

    I think this worked well for Monty Python because the show is old enough to have fallen out of mind for a generation of potential viewers. The movies get a fair amount of play time on TV, but the show does not (at least in the states). Also, being a sketch comedy show, it works very well in the free-sample format, where as I can’t imagine the same thing working for any show with a storyline that requires regular viewing like Heros (unless you’re cruel and you let people watch the first few episodes then give them a “buy the rest of the season” link). I think The State and Kids in the Hall would probably have good success with this setup too.

    By the way, I believe Comedy Central has South Park online, though I don’t know how up to date they keep it. I know you can watch The Daily Show and Colbert pretty much the next day. I’ve seen Family Guy while cruising the shows in Boxee but I don’t recall what network and if they are full episodes or just clips.

  2. For South Park, you can actually watch every single episode for free on southparkstudios.com. I think it usually takes a full day for new episodes to appear.

    I watch a lot of my TV shows on Hulu. Although I can’t say that I’m interested in buying the DVD’s for most of them, I have definitely discovered one or two shows that I wouldn’t have watched otherwise that I now watch regularly and repeatedly(namely It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). The convenience is a major factor for me, and the way I see it, I’m part of an audience that these shows have gained by making them freely available online. The short commercials are not bothersome for me.

    I agree that sketch comedy is highly appropriate for this business model. It makes perfect sense that Monty Python is enjoying better sales.

  3. Hulu hosts all kinds of free TV shows and movies, as do many network websites (Comedy Central, CBS, etc) and I have yet to hear any reports of connected DVD sales spikes.

    I think this worked well for Monty Python because the show is old enough to have fallen out of mind for a generation of potential viewers. The movies get a fair amount of play time on TV, but the show does not (at least in the states). Also, being a sketch comedy show, it works very well in the free-sample format, where as I can't imagine the same thing working for any show with a storyline that requires regular viewing like Heros (unless you're cruel and you let people watch the first few episodes then give them a "buy the rest of the season" link). I think The State and Kids in the Hall would probably have good success with this setup too.

    By the way, I believe Comedy Central has South Park online, though I don't know how up to date they keep it. I know you can watch The Daily Show and Colbert pretty much the next day. I've seen Family Guy while cruising the shows in Boxee but I don't recall what network and if they are full episodes or just clips.

  4. For South Park, you can actually watch every single episode for free on southparkstudios.com. I think it usually takes a full day for new episodes to appear.

    I watch a lot of my TV shows on Hulu. Although I can't say that I'm interested in buying the DVD's for most of them, I have definitely discovered one or two shows that I wouldn't have watched otherwise that I now watch regularly and repeatedly(namely It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia). The convenience is a major factor for me, and the way I see it, I'm part of an audience that these shows have gained by making them freely available online. The short commercials are not bothersome for me.

    I agree that sketch comedy is highly appropriate for this business model. It makes perfect sense that Monty Python is enjoying better sales.

  5. “If the 23,000% bit is really true, then those DVD’s must really be flying off the store shelves like rockets”

    Or it could mean that they just weren’t selling that many before. As Tom said, putting samples out in front of the viewing public was the right idea for this specific material.

  6. "If the 23,000% bit is really true, then those DVD’s must really be flying off the store shelves like rockets"

    Or it could mean that they just weren't selling that many before. As Tom said, putting samples out in front of the viewing public was the right idea for this specific material.

  7. Alas many content creators dont seem to get the appeal of one stop shopping to people looking for content. Hulu is a great start, but as of now, at least 3 of the shows I like to watch online are only available through their own website (and they tend to be graphics heavy rather than efficient and pleasant like hulu).

    To be honest if its not available on hulu its easier to find it illegally than to hassle with the muddled hassle of CBS or ABC websites (which often want you to download a special proprietary player or have unusual commercial playing–I dont want to have to get up off the sofa to click “continue Grays Anatomy” every 5 minutes.

    Personally I strongly dislike clips on TV websites because it makes it momentarily harder to find the actual content I’m there for (full episodes). Some shows dont even offer the shows on their websites (Like big bang theory, despite the fact that the title of the page is big bang theory: watch full episodes and video and join the ultimate fan community, if you click the “video” tab, you’ll see they only offer clips)

  8. Alas many content creators dont seem to get the appeal of one stop shopping to people looking for content. Hulu is a great start, but as of now, at least 3 of the shows I like to watch online are only available through their own website (and they tend to be graphics heavy rather than efficient and pleasant like hulu).

    To be honest if its not available on hulu its easier to find it illegally than to hassle with the muddled hassle of CBS or ABC websites (which often want you to download a special proprietary player or have unusual commercial playing–I dont want to have to get up off the sofa to click "continue Grays Anatomy" every 5 minutes.

    Personally I strongly dislike clips on TV websites because it makes it momentarily harder to find the actual content I'm there for (full episodes). Some shows dont even offer the shows on their websites (Like big bang theory, despite the fact that the title of the page is big bang theory: watch full episodes and video and join the ultimate fan community, if you click the "video" tab, you'll see they only offer clips)