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NEWS: Viz Offers Naruto Anime Downloads via Direct2Drive


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kokuryu



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
Posts: 915

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:42 pm Reply with quote
Isnt it cheaper to buy the DVDs?
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Xanas



Joined: 27 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:46 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, which is why they are being incredibly unrealistic with that kind of pricing structure for DRM'd & likely lower quality media.
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invalidname



Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 444
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Also, with a DVD, I could rip it and put it on my iPod.

No Mac, no iPod... no thanks.
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rankothefiremage



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:09 pm Reply with quote
no linux either.
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testorschoice



Joined: 28 Apr 2007
Posts: 465

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:31 pm Reply with quote
kokuryu wrote:
Isnt it cheaper to buy the DVDs?


If you only want the subbed version or you only want the dubbed version, the downloads are actually cheaper. The Naruto box sets sell for $49.98 each, with Amazon discounting the cheapest one to $37.49 or $2.68 per episode.

Like on DVDs, the digital restrictions on Windows Media can be circumvented. It's still a cat-and-mouse game though, whereas the workarounds for DVDs have been stable and reliable for years.
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britannicamoore



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
Posts: 2614
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:21 pm Reply with quote
testorschoice wrote:
kokuryu wrote:
Isnt it cheaper to buy the DVDs?


If you only want the subbed version or you only want the dubbed version, the downloads are actually cheaper. The Naruto box sets sell for $49.98 each, with Amazon discounting the cheapest one to $37.49 or $2.68 per episode.


Actually- the cheapest is at WalMart for about $25 bucks each. (This is still on; I went to WalMart a few days ago)

Viz is making the right move too late. If these episodes had been put on the net sometime shortly after the first season- or after their airing they would have probably gotten more sells.
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testorschoice



Joined: 28 Apr 2007
Posts: 465

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:40 pm Reply with quote
britannicamoore wrote:
testorschoice wrote:
kokuryu wrote:
Isnt it cheaper to buy the DVDs?


If you only want the subbed version or you only want the dubbed version, the downloads are actually cheaper. The Naruto box sets sell for $49.98 each, with Amazon discounting the cheapest one to $37.49 or $2.68 per episode.


Actually- the cheapest is at WalMart for about $25 bucks each. (This is still on; I went to WalMart a few days ago)


Once you add sales tax, that's about $1.99 per episode (more if it's the 13-episode box, less if its the 14-episode box). But then you have to add the cost of gas, the hidden cost of Wal-Mart. Wink
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Xanas



Joined: 27 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:38 pm Reply with quote
Only if you are driving an SUV. I fill up my gas tank once about once a month in my crappy 4 cylinder 2001 dodge neon for 30$ It's not a great car, but it gets me where I need to go and I spend as little as I can absolutely manage on it. I'm a computer and anime nerd, I simply don't have cash to spend on other superfluous things.

Anyhow, it's not just the episodes that I'm buying the dvds for. You get at least a few extras, better quality (I'm betting), linux is my main operating system (you suck DRM), boxes and art that comes with them (which I think look cool), etc. I suppose if we are comparing the episode prices to the prices of eps on the volumes or opening prices on the box sets it's a better deal, but you have to throw out on all the things you lose to come up with that.

I actually prefer to use digital media myself (instead of physical discs) beyond the looks and all. That's why I encode my media in x264/vorbis & keep it on externals for quick access (I love you libdvdcss).
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ikillchicken
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 6759
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:17 am Reply with quote
Quote:
The Direct2Drive store is restricted to United States residents and computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems.


Well then. On behalf of all Canadians and Mac users (I am the prior but not the latter) I would like to say: Screw you Viz. Thanks for nothing.
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Hon'ya-chan



Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 973

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:54 am Reply with quote
testorschoice wrote:
kokuryu wrote:
Isnt it cheaper to buy the DVDs?


If you only want the subbed version or you only want the dubbed version, the downloads are actually cheaper. The Naruto box sets sell for $49.98 each, with Amazon discounting the cheapest one to $37.49 or $2.68 per episode.


$34.99 if you take advantage of Borders 30% off coupons. But I digress....
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Fallout2man



Joined: 27 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:47 am Reply with quote
Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder if pay-per-download solutions will really work for video right now? I mean, maybe if the environment changes, but I can't see wanting to pay for a download when I can get superior quality and options at not much of a price increase, from just buying a DVD.

If anything the real online arena right now I'd think would be trying to do something like streaming video supported by advertising. Why buy a download when you can own a DVD?
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britannicamoore



Joined: 05 Dec 2005
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Location: Out.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:48 pm Reply with quote
Thinking about this more, I think if they offer episodes for download before the episode airs on tv, (or say they air episode 5, if they put up episodes 6,7,& 8 people would buy to see what happened. )

Also, I think they should have done this much earlier- when the show first started on CN. Many people who'd seen the show via fansub may have purchased it; you know the SUBS only folks.

Also, with the lack of other software suppourt they've dug themsleves a hole. I'd be surprised if they got more than 1,000 downloads now.

Fallout, I think payable downloads are the solution- but they can't wait so long. They are a cheaper way to get the episodes.
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pknecron



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 41
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:22 pm Reply with quote
Fallout2man wrote:
Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder if pay-per-download solutions will really work for video right now? I mean, maybe if the environment changes, but I can't see wanting to pay for a download when I can get superior quality and options at not much of a price increase, from just buying a DVD.

If anything the real online arena right now I'd think would be trying to do something like streaming video supported by advertising. Why buy a download when you can own a DVD?


I agree. Personally, I would never DL content that I could pay for and have superior quality. I hear all about how important this kind of marketing is supposed to be to the future of entertainment, but unless I get DVD quality at a reasonable DL speed, neither of which is even remotely possible with current technology, I will have to pass.
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Xanas



Joined: 27 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:55 pm Reply with quote
I don't know what you are calling reasonable DL speed it takes me about 30 minutes-1 hour to download x264 fansubs that are nearly dvd quality (720p, but of course with some loss due to codec/source, I actually think Gundam 00 looks better than most of my DVD stuff). So if they use bittorrent or something similar I don't think download speed will be a huge issue.

I do think though that the issue is the cost. It should be more of a subscription service with maybe a few advertisements in order to be more similar to TV to get as many people as possible. People commonly buy American TV despite having watched it previously, the main reason we get more purchases of that than anime is that more people are seeing it. If they can make low cost subscriptions that let you see a variety of anime (either on TV or online) whenever you want it might get some more people interested in throwing a few $ a month at it.

The main thing anime needs to do is increase the amount of fans. Not all fans will be willing to buy DVDs, but the more fans they have the more fans that will buy DVDs. These services will pull in the people who aren't willing to do the illegitimate stuff (and actually I'd gladly use them even though I have no qualms with using fansubs), and if they advertise them on cartoon network, etc. I think they could get quite a few subscribers to make such a thing worth it.

If costs are too high though they cannot be successful. They cannot look at this as an alternative to DVD purchases, they have to look at it as a different way of broadcasting like they do on TV.
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Fallout2man



Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Posts: 271
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:48 pm Reply with quote
britannicamoore wrote:
Thinking about this more, I think if they offer episodes for download before the episode airs on tv, (or say they air episode 5, if they put up episodes 6,7,& 8 people would buy to see what happened. )

Also, I think they should have done this much earlier- when the show first started on CN. Many people who'd seen the show via fansub may have purchased it; you know the SUBS only folks.

Also, with the lack of other software suppourt they've dug themsleves a hole. I'd be surprised if they got more than 1,000 downloads now.

Fallout, I think payable downloads are the solution- but they can't wait so long. They are a cheaper way to get the episodes.


I disagree, let me explain why.

People will pay for individual music files, so why not video, right? music is typically unencumbered. With few exceptions no two songs from any particular album or a band actually are made to go together and have no real relation to the other except artist and time of creation. You can buy one or two songs from an album and not have lost any value, in fact you may technically have lost value if you had purchased other songs as they may not have been to your liking.

Secondly, it's cheap, easy, and most of all very convenient to listen to music anywhere.

With video, in this case anime/TV series on the other hand, there's a different problem. While there may be the odd filler episode, most of the episodes all play together, they work on a single continuity that ties the story together. Even if an episode may just be random nonsense it still can add value to a story by the mere continuity of events it carries forewards into later episodes. It doesn't make sense to buy individual episodes. Someone doesn't just buy episode 8, 13 and 22 of Cowboy Bebop or witch hunter robin, no, you buy the entire season or series because it all ties together in the end. If you miss even one episode the entire series loses value, so a-la-cart offering of episodes makes no sense.

This is especially prevelent when you consider that it is always less expensive to buy in larger quantities. Sure you do physically pay more up front but the per-unit cost is lower, which means that unless someone crazy is setting prices (in the music industry's case single downloads are so cheap because realistically speaking CDs have always been artificially high priced, they even got into a lot of trouble for doing that with the courts) it makes sense to buy an entire series or season at once in as big a bundle as possible because of the savings you'd get over buying it individually.

Plus what about the real cost? When you buy a DVD it has (in anime's case) both language tracks, subtitles and a fair deal of extras. A download missing those things, which may appeal to people, may even be priced low enough it'd cost less than a DVD boxed set to get the entire show, but if someone wants these features then a little extra (I doubt it'd be a big price difference) is well worth it.

Finally, unlike audio, there really isn't a comfortable market for mobile video yet. Sure we have video ipods but does squinting into that tiny poor quality LCD really do it for most people? I wonder. If anything the market for video right now is either watching it on a TV, a desktop or a decently large laptop, all of which can offer decent screen size, and audio/video quality. All of which, I might add, are able to play dvds just fine.

Then of course there's the issue of DRM and legality. When I buy a DVD I own something, I have a physical copy that can't have its license agreement changed and I own the right to view that until the disks finally deteriorate to nothingness. With files, they most often contain callbacks to home and EULAs that specifically say they have the right to change the terms. This means, (and while they probably wouldn't, they could) you could lose what you paid for forever either due to a technical glitch or some execs being a dick and making a corporate decision to revoke licenses to play content, and you'd be left of no legal recourse.

Sure you could decrypt the files and burn them to DVD, but that is very illegal, and why bother having to buy a burner, blank media and a case that will look horrible or bland just to back up your twelve downloaded episodes of Naruto (which while you bought them legally you are still breaking the law by backing up), when you can just buy a boxed set from a store, which cannot be revoked and works on anything that plays DVDs, has more options, and nifty looking case/disk art to make your collection look nice?


This is why I think paying to download episodes is a bad idea, buying something only works when you actually can give a real sense of ownership and value. I don't feel ownership knowing I only can have it as a file on my computer that may require an internet connection to play at all times and can, at any moment, be revoked. I don't feel value when I'm getting roughly the same level of file most people get downloading things illegally on bit torrent.

Ad-supported makes more sense, why? Because it's more of an apples to apples approach. People like TV, they watch TV and even if it isn't always the best, it presents the content most people want in a format they'll accept and in the end people get paid. TV is a service, and internet TV is also a service, both are quasi-free (free to us, but they make money anyway.)

Trying to get people to pay for a collection of bits they could have revoked at any time, has less features and quality than competing hard copies, and can never legally be transferred to a hard copy, is just ridiculous. A DVD is an object, an object protected by law and ownable, it is a natural monopoly. A file is an idea, and the law protects the interests of the people who "loan" you the file more than they do any right of yours, files aren't truly ownable, but the concept of the file is copyrighted by the people you bought it from, you can never own a file. Anyone else get what I'm saying here?
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