DVD or Download - Which Do You Prefer?

In what I think is a 'first' for kayak media, Justine Curgenven is now selling her films as digital downloads through her website Cackle TV.

Is this the future? Check out the comments below and please contribute your thoughts.

Justine helped me enormously when I was struggling to understand how to make a DVD. Now she has taken the next step and I really, really hope it works for her.

Two films, shot some time ago in SD but not included on DVDs, are for sale at 99p each.

Her new, 32 minute, HD award winning Islands Of Fire is priced at £5.99.

Is this the future of media distribution? It would certainly be easier for me than stuffing DVDs into padded envelopes!

Yet I'm struggling to assess the scale of this market, based on my own experience (or prejudice). While I might download an individual track or two on iTunes, if there's an album I want, I buy the CD online. I like to have something physical for my cash. Am I alone in this?

Why not buy Justine's latest film online and then see if the download route works for you. And if you can take the time to let me know what you think, I'd be hugely grateful.


paddlingOTAKU said...

I for one, think this route is excellent, for a number of reasons.

1st is immediacy. We live in a very 'instant gratification' culture and I think this plays into that very well. Particularly when I live in the states, and the DVD's are coming from the UK.

2nd is cost. With no media, case, cover, or 'booklet' to create the cost for the download should be less than buying a dvd. And for you as the film maker, you aren't sharing your profits with a distributor. You are also making more per 'disc' because part of your cost would go into production of the physical item. But obviously copying data is free. So it costs the consumer less, and earns the creator of the media - whatever it is - more.

3rd is environmental. Shipping a DVD across an ocean just seems archaic compared to shipping bits through a cable.

I personally despise 'spinning media' like DVD or cd. they are prone to scratches and their players have a massive amount of moving parts. I think if you want something physical - and I understand that some people do want something physical for their money - movies/data should be shipped on SD cards, which are small, lightweight, and have no moving parts.

I love that we are seeing the entire media world changed by the effects of digital. That film production is no longer in the hands solely of the major studios, That artists can distribute their works for free - reaping all of the profits instead of $.10 on the dollar. That writers can send a word document to LULU and have the book they have slaved over listed on Amazon, or that film makers can offer the films for download without owing their life to a distributor. I think it is all amazing, and freeing.

I think I will stop there as I have written a blog post in your comments! sorry. Don't even get me going on digital rights management....


David said...

Difficult question / decision ... yes good for the environment at first glance, but good for the long term? I wonder. Unless you use DRM them nothing stops anyone 'sharing' your opus with others. And DRM is a pain, both to sellers and purchasers, and guaranteed to get purchasers at least "annoyed" in future when they want to play your opus on Windows 2020 [sic] or (quite likely) Linux and find they have 'lost' the key / access. Sorry not an answer, just a comment.

Simon said...

Thank you both. More comments please!

DRM is a valid issue because a download feels like it's easier to share. That said, a DVD can be ripped by anyone.

DVDs are still needed for stores. We sell quit a lot through kayak shops in different countries.

I'm sure the "instant gratification" thng will become increasingly important. So I guess I'll simply have to offer ALL routes.

The cost side of the equation is a little more complicated.

Managing paid-for downloads requires a bit of specialised web tech, way beyond me. Justine is using the e-junkie service.

If I was to put all the coaching sessions from DVD1 on their servers to download, it would cost me $154 per month! I could store them somewhere else, but would still pay $18 pm to have them process the download.

I'm looking at Digital Goods Store ($4pm) for the process and Amazon S3 for the hosting. However, linking it all together is not at all simple! I spent a few hours on it yesterday, until the point where I felt my brain was melting.

It's certainly not as simle as bagging a DVD. But I guess I'm going to have to learn.

And soon!

Please keep the comments coming.

paddlingOTAKU said...

I will confess that I didn't realize that it was so expensive to have your videos sold by someone else, though I think that as more people require the service, and more people create businesses to provide the service competition will not only lower the price but simplify the process. Simon, it is the price you pay for being on the cutting edge!

Regarding DRM - which I said I wasn't going to get into! - Anyone who wants to, can get around the DRM. I don't think we should base our actions on the false premise that we can prevent someone from ripping your video. I am a firm believer that your not losing sales to people who are ripping your dvd, because they wouldn't have bought it in the first place. I am a former professional photographer who thinks the current copyright laws need to be completely rewritten with digital media in mind. I think DRM - long term - hurts the consumer who legitimately wants/needs to back up media. it adds expense to the creator of the media, and does very little to prevent theft. Though I realize I am in the minority in this opinion.

And regarding the windows 2020 concept the quicktime .mov format has been around since the early 1990's. So while Davids concern is valid, it isn't limited to digital 'non-physical' media as the Audio cassette, 8-track, 45 rpm single, Laserdisc, beta, and now VHS proves.


Simon said...

I decided against attempting copy protection on the DVDs for exactly this reason.

As for the cost - I'm working on this today and I think I might have found a cheqper, less technically challenging option.


Sergio said...

Hello Simon
I absolutely agree with you in this matter. I'm old fashioned about this things, I stand behind DVD and paper. There is much more dedication and work on a DVD than in a dowloaded piece of film you store on your computer. In my humble opinion, I go for the booklet enclosed,photos, box, store the film among my books in the shelf and watch them sitting in my sofa with a warm cup of coffee.
Cheers and good luck with DVD 2 (looking foward to it)

Anonymous said...

I'd rather a DVD so I can watch it in comfort on my 40 inch TV, rather that at my desk on a poor quality monitor.

Simon said...

Sorry - Blogger had a brain fit recently and deleted some of the comments people had left here.

But not before I had read them. So "thank you" and I think it's clear I'm going to have to offer DVD and download.

Tim Leeuwenburg said...

I'm a technophile and a Mac fanboi

But I want my kayaking movie in a nice DVD please - so I can stash them on the library shelves, take 'em down and watch them over a nice cup of soup int he cold weather...and opt to view them on either the TV via DVD player or on the laptop if travelling

Sure, make them available by download if you must - but I (and I suspect many other kayakers) would happily pay the extra to get shipped or buy through a store...we're generally patient people, sea kayakers.

Just my tuppence worth!

tim leeuwenburg
kangaroo island, australia

Simon said...

Thanks Tim - as well as being helpful, it made me smile too.

paddlingOTAKU said...

Well Simon, clearly you shouldn't be basing your delivery method plans on my opinion! As it seems I am the only one posting comments in favor downloads.

Regardless, I hope to download a copy of DVD2 for Christmas.