Post Reply download option for paid customers (mobile)
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 9/8/15
Before i begin, i know. I'm not a premium user, so why am i writing this, you might be asking. This idea is not really new, and some users probably already thought about it before (and I'm sure some were thinking about this before even opening this thread.

I'm an Amazon Prime member, and they give users the option to download movies or TV shows on their mobile devices to watch without the need to be tethered by an active internet connection. I was able to watch the second season of Hunger Games without worrying about my internet, and it was great. Now, my humble suggestion would be to bring the same download option to paying customers, and of course, the option would only be available on the mobile applications. Before i begin weighing the pros and cons, let me dispel some of the myth people have regarding the download option.

Myth:
offering users a download option will facilitate piracy and damage the anime industry

Fact:
if users wanted to pirate, they wouldn't be using CR, let alone pay for the premium service. you're giving users what they paid for - the ability to watch the movie/series.
only this time, they won't need to be on an active connection

Myth:
offering a download option is too costly

Fact:
it shouldn't affect the servers significantly. in fact, because premium users don't need to be connected to the server all the time, the net effect is likely a decrease in traffic, and as a result, the servers/site should feel faster (since there's less active connections)

Myth:
this can't be done in practice / will not work

Fact:
Amazon offers the download option to paid customers, and it works wonders. The download option gave Amazon a competitive edge over the likes of Netflix (until they start offering the same download option to their customers)

By letting paid premium users the option to download and watch on the go, you'll mitigate one of the biggest complaints they have: stuttering video playback, and site down.
Premium users will be able to watch their series even if the site is down for maintenance,
and will be able to watch their favorite shows on the go even when there's no internet. (Who needs appreciating the view at the beach when you can catch up with latest episode of your favorite anime?). Paid users who have a slower internet connection could simply download the episode and watch it, without having to wait for buffers.

Now, there's one caveat, which you probably already know:
If the user downloads an episode or a movie, it stays in their mobile device until it is manually deleted, even if their premium service expires. to try and prevent users from abusing the download option, i'd recommend only offering the option to paid customers, NOT users who are using the trial option. Limiting the number of videos downloaded is also an option, though this would negatively impact paid customers.

So, what do you guys think? Would it help if CR offered their paid premium users the option to download anime on the go? Or is it "too much of a bother/not worth it"?

Criticisms are also welcome, of course.

Apologies in advance if this was already suggested, though i couldn't find similar threads from a quick search.
The Wise Wizard
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Posted 9/8/15

namealreadytaken wrote:

Myth:
offering a download option is too costly

Fact:
it shouldn't affect the servers significantly. in fact, because premium users don't need to be connected to the server all the time, the net effect is likely a decrease in traffic, and as a result, the servers/site should feel faster (since there's less active connections).

The cost has little to do with bandwidth, and far more to do with licensing. An offline viewing option (such as Amazon offers), is considered a download by most (if not all) anime publishers and is treated differently for licensing purposes.

I don't have Amazon Prime, so perhaps you can answer this: Is all programming via Amazon Prime available for offline viewing, or only certain shows? If the latter, are any of those that allow offline viewing anime?

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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 9/8/15 , edited 9/8/15

TheAncientOne wrote:

The cost has little to do with bandwidth, and far more to do with licensing. An offline viewing option (such as Amazon offers), is considered a download by most (if not all) anime publishers and is treated differently for licensing purposes.

I don't have Amazon Prime, so perhaps you can answer this: Is all programming via Amazon Prime available for offline viewing, or only certain shows? If the latter, are any of those that allow offline viewing anime?



Amazon have a limited selection of anime, that's a given. However, they do offfer the following shows to be watched offline:

Angel Beats!
Blue Drop
Broken Blade
The World God Only Knows (season 1)
Canaan
Princess Tutu
Towanoquon
Special A
Get Backers
Elfen Lied
Tears to Tiara
Patema Inverted (Sakasama no Patema, english sub)
A letter to Momo (Momo e no Tegami, dub only)
and a few others

edit: virtually all Prime series/movies are available to be watched offline. Note that not all movies are prime movies, nor all shows prime shows.

edit 2: here's some images from my iPad, this is the UI made by Amazon:


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Posted 9/8/15
I expect that Amazon has gained the download rights because it is a massive company with international recognition and is throwing in huge amounts of money to build its Prime service. Crunchyroll, while a big player in the niche market of anime, is tiny by comparison and won't have the same level of funds to invest.

Either Amazon has convinced the rights holders that their mobile app is secure or alternatively the deal on offer is lucrative enough that they are willing to gamble on a small level of piracy for a big potential return.

I suspect that Crunchyroll will struggle to either prove the security of any future download app (to the satisfaction of rights holders) or be in a position to offer a lucrative deal that the rights holders are willing to gamble on. However, if the distribution model for the whole industry switches to download then I can see Crunchyroll joining in at that time.
The Wise Wizard
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Posted 9/8/15

namealreadytaken wrote:

Amazon have a limited selection of anime, that's a given. However, they do offfer the following shows to be watched offline:

Angel Beats!
Blue Drop
Broken Blade
The World God Only Knows (season 1)
Canaan
Princess Tutu
Towanoquon
Special A
Get Backers
Elfen Lied
Tears to Tiara
Patema Inverted (Sakasama no Patema, english sub)
A letter to Momo (Momo e no Tegami, dub only)
and a few others

Interesting. The vast majority of those titles are Sentai licenses, while Funimation appears to be completely absent.

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Posted 9/8/15
I wouldn't mind if they dd that as long as they didn't charge a full year upfront for that option like Prime does.
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 9/8/15

Haruna-kai wrote:

I wouldn't mind if they dd that as long as they didn't charge a full year upfront for that option like Prime does.


Prime is pretty cheap though. Only $50 a year for students, or about $4 a month
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Posted 9/8/15

namealreadytaken wrote:

Prime is pretty cheap though. Only $50 a year for students, or about $4 a month


I'm not a student though and its like 99 bucks a year, Amazon does other things as well, music, videos, shipping on products and whatever else they do.
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 9/8/15 , edited 9/8/15

Haruna-kai wrote:


I'm not a student though and its like 99 bucks a year, Amazon does other things as well, music, videos, shipping on products and whatever else they do.


ah yea, it's kinda expensive if you're not a student, and streaming service is but one of the benefits of prime (as you said)
maybe CR could also offer a music service for premium users, though that's a subject for a different thread.
(and would require users to pay a bit more on top of what they already paid)
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