Download Version of New Rescues DVD Unlikely To Happen

As of this morning, it is highly unlikely I will be able to make our new Rescues DVD, Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown- Volume 2, available as a Download.

I am very disappointed about this.

Many people have contributed their thoughts about downloads and DVDs. I’ve spent a lot of time developing a download system which works well for DVD1. And I’ve been trumpting the fact the new film will be released simultaneously as DVD and Download.

Now it won't. So what’s gone wrong? Put simply, this.

If I sell a download, retail stores probably won’t stock the DVD.

That’s the stark warning from one of our distributors. And I have a good relationship with distributors and retailers. I want to support kayak stores. So I feel it's wise to to right by them.

The argument goes something like this.

One of the advantages retail stores have over online stores is their ability to deliver something instantly.

If you want the DVD today, go to your kayak store and you can get it today, rather than waiting a few days for it to arrive in the mail.

Downloads remove that advantage. When online stores offer that immediate gratification, there’s no reason for the retailer to give the product shelf-space.

There’s also a concern that a new product, released without digital copy protection, will be ripped off instantly. You wouldn't, but others might.

So again, why would a retailer give shelf space to a product you can get free on a pen-drive from your friend?

I’ve loked into copy-protection, thought I had on which might work, but decided it didn’t.

So for the forseable future, Volume 2 will not be available as a download, whereas Volume 1 will.

However, I have some really positive developments to share, including a new sea kayaking film with superb archive footage which will be available as a download.

More about this tomorrow – and then I’m taking a month off blogging to travel and ride my bike.


Anonymous Evil Downloader! said...

Fair enough I guess, I had been planning on going the download route, but the timings good for a birthday present from my granny! I bet the likes of HMV wish they could have done this to producers.

On the ripping, it happens with DVDs as well as online downloads, albeit it takes active effort vs just sticking on a USB disk/sharing.

It was downloading a rip of TITS that as well as making me go buy it and the rest of them actually got me interested in sea kayaking in the first place. So its not always bad and a lot of people have made money off that one dodgy download I made years ago, but maybe I'm the exception ;)

Simon said...

Great name - (if slightly worrying!)

I'm sure retailers have learnt a lot from the experience of the music industry. Theirs is an unsustainable position, long term, but niche products can't to lead the charge on this. iTunes is doing just fine with the mass market stuff.

I know DVDs get ripped. I've seen DVD1 on bit torrent sites for ages, and I'm aware people share. But a single file is easier to copy.

However, for most people this is an issue of perceived value. You're aware a DVD has a value, partly because it comes in a nice box with nice printing on the disc. The perceived value of a single .mov file, of which you might have hundreds on your computer, is a lot lower.

Anyway, I genuinely am sorry you won't be able to go the download route for this production.

But check back tomorrow for a different one which WILL be a download. And then on Monday news of a different way to watch part of DVD2 online.

Anonymous Cuddly Downloader said...

Take no heed of the name, I had my real name in there but then decided admitting to downloading something even if it did generate kayaking manufacturer/producer revenue in region of £20k might result in grief!

The reasoning is understandable and I'm sure the effort you put in to the download system will be of use for other projects as you've already mentioned. Is this position a new one by retailers as others are now offering downloads as well no?

Simon said...

'Cuddly'. Now I feel reassured ;-)

I'm not sure how new the position is. I know Justine is offering inidividual shorter films as downloads, and my friend Paul who runs Hot Aches is offering entire Climbing DVDs as downloads.

I'm heeding the advice of a couple of distributors who nearly choked when I told them about the Download route.

Perhaps its diffreent for a lower priced product which can be watched once or twice, rather than our over two hour coaching product whic you'll keep coming back to?

I really don't know - things are changing fast.


paddlingOTAKU said...

"things are changing fast" is the key. Retailers of physical DVD's realize that their time is running out (though it will still be years). And unfortunately The individual film maker or musician - who the download route benefits - doesn't have the muscle to get the retailers to allow both. I am curious if you could get them to go along with a 'after christmas' you can go the download route in addition, or a year after release of the physical DVD you can go the download route. I am not surprised this occurred in the least - you know I am a big proponent of downloads - rest assured there will be a copy of the DVD under my christmas tree.


Simon said...


Nice to hear from you after your big trip. It was good to follow along too.

'After Christmas'? Possibly. But I think after the first year is a more likely option to run with.

Please check back on Monday - you might be interested in a Pay-to-Preview option I'm playing with...


Hubert said...

Sorry for you!
But i was planning to buy the DVD anyway. I like to receive and open a nice box and put a real disc in a player.
Downloads are nice, especially in HD, but don't have the feeling they are worth the money. Like another youtube video if you understand what i'm trying to say.
(sorry, english isn't my native langue)

Simon said...

Hi Hubert
Delighted to hear you're planning to buy it! Thanks for the comment.

Nick said...

Having enjoyed the first DVD enormously, I can't wait to see the new one.

I enjoy the value feel and cover of the DVD, but the major advantage of download is 720p/ 1080p quality, as opposed to the very limited res of DVD. Perhaps you might consider offering a BluRay variant?