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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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June 13 2006

Buffy and Firefly to be available to download at CinemaNow. Fox Entertainment and CinemaNow just signed a deal to make movies and tv shows (including Buffy and Firefly) available to download for $1.99 per episode from Buffy isn't up there yet, but it will be eventually.

Here's a question. Do creative types get money from digital downloads, like they do with DVDs? I doubt any of us know, like, but I hope the same royality fees get paid.
I just saw this on the BBC site - my heart skipped a beat as the headline is "Back from the grave - Buffy TV shows...", so I thought that they were resurrecting the show! Sigh... back to reality I suppose.
Good question, gossi. I'm sure Fox gets some money, but maybe Mutant Enemy gets a sliver? I would think the bulk would go to

I think this is great! Hopefully it will get more people hooked, and they will become addicts like us. Joss is a good drug, man. I get my fix often.
gossi - From what I understand if your talking about the producers of a show, yes they do. It might only be a 1/16th of a penny or less, after the other areas take out their cost.

If you are talking actors, then no unless they have a clause in their contract stipulating the get a percentage of the backend take. Most actors only get this kinda deal in a movie contract or if they get producer credit. I know that the writers & screen actors guild has been fighting about this with the producers, because it is a grey area overall, a few times it almost came to strike talks about a year or two ago. Basically because before this century there was no royalty talks about tv to dvd or download availible. Most industry people say it will be at least a decade or more before the details are hammered out and DVD and download royalties will be a standard clause in all performance contracts. At least that is how it is in the US, not sure about the UK or other countries.
Not sure if I missed the announcement somewhere, but Firefly is also available on iTunes now. Take me out to the black.... iPod.
I hope they'll also get around to Angel. Does anybody know?
Hmmm... let me do the math. $2 per episode, 14 episodes (15, if they split up Serenity), so $28-30 for the whole show. The DVD is $25, has extras, most likely much higher quality and no worry about any "only works on Windows Media Player on three machines"-DRM worries. Does anyone know if we are talking three devices at the same time (which would be more than enough for private use) or a form of permanently "registering" a device for playback (meaning you're essentially screwed over when you upgrade or replace your PC)?

I know they have to pay for the bandwidth, the whole infrastructure and there are plently of people holding their hands open to make some money from it, but I just can't the point of this kind of "you get lower quality and more restriction for a higher price"-"bargain".

For $10 less than the equivalent DVD set I might think about it, so until they figure out a way to do it for $1-1.25 per episode I'd rather go and buy the DVD, knowing that 10 years from now I can still watch it instead of facing a "sorry, you already registered on three devices 6 years ago, go and dig out your ancient PC if you haven't sold it"-message boxes.

Bottom line: ditch the stupid "only for people with the latest WMP only available for the latest version of Windows with pointless restrictions"-nonsense, don't offer inferior quality at a higher price and pay someone to come up with a clever and cheap way of distributing. If millions of "pirates" can spread it for free, there is obviously a lot of potential.
Trienco, you're missing the point, availability whenever wherever, it's the availability that makes it worth the money.
This I believe is currently only for 'old' shows but this should be done for 'new'/show currently on the air, for a good show this kind of distribution would enable you to watch the episodes after they aired and if you choose to, later on buy the DVD for the commentaries and long term use.
Sure it is still possible to wait for and buy the DVD's but this or something similar is definitely one of the 'cleverest and cheapest' ideas for distribution I have seen in a while specifically for Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows.

Of course people can download shows for free but guess what, people who do that lose their right to grumble when their favorite shows gets cancelled, if they dont want to pay for the show why should the studio ?

[ edited by jpr on 2006-06-14 11:16 ]

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