At Anime Atlanta ADV Films revealed that it had created its own ADV Universe Website, which allows consumers to download English dubbed episodes of a number of ADV titles including Area 88, Comic Party Revolution, Gilgamesh, Godannar, Jinki: Extend, Magical Play, Nurse Witch Komugi, Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat, Princess Tutu and Yumeria for $4.99 per episode. Fans can also download the complete Lady Death Movie ($19.98) and the Parasite Dolls OVA (also $19.98). Only two episodes of each series is available now, but all episodes of each series will eventually be included as ADV plans to continually refresh the site to generate repeat visits.
ADV is using the PC-friendly VC-1 Codec which means that the current downloads are not compatible with Macs or with computers that use the Linux operating system. ADV's move is part of a growing trend among studios to create a revenue stream by providing legal downloads for a fee. Bandai recently made some of its series available via Amazon's Unbox service (see 'Amazon Launches Video Download Service').
ADV's Chris Oarr told ICv2, 'There is a certain inevitability to digital downloads as a vehicle for home entertainment and we think we've devised the best solution to deliver quality to our consumers.'
When asked about the lack of Mac capability Oarr responded, '[With our format], we are following the lead of the major sites like Cinemanow and Movielink that are also PC only -- we love Macs and we love Mac users, but right now the PC and Windows format that we are using makes the most sense, though we are looking forward to a future involving Macs as well. As far as PSPs, we have no plans for PSP compatibility.'
ADV has previously told us that they believe the expanded availability of VOD anime increases the audience for DVDs; it's unclear whether they believe the same relationship will hold true for PC-based downloads.