My Nitty Gritty DvD production & Sales Questions

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    • #42707
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi: here’s a question for anyone with experience making niche DVDs, say for hobby specific or extreme sports.

      I have produced a DVD that’s ready to be duplicated. I have identified & contacted some sales venues for the DVD, to include: direct sales, sales to hobby clubs, sales to online video distributors, online retail, and even brick and mortar retail stores. I have an idea of the market and its depth. One of the above venues, a hobby specific club of agressive and afluent hobbists, has a membership base of 30,000. My niche is a sports hobby niche, not necessarily "extreme" sports, but that is the closest thing I would compare it to. Basically I’m trying to do something like surf videos or skate videos, but a whole new genre/sport. The sport has not been dealt with by hobby specific video/DVDs before–primarily due to the cost associated with production & technology issues which I have figues a way to overcome. I guess I am looking to create the genre, from the ground up, now.

      Some of my questions:

      How many DVDs do you make on a first run? There are duplication companies that can do 10-10,000, with all costs in between.

      Is there a business model for this that suggests one size run vs. another?

      What percentage of a hobby group (the 30,000 members) can you expect a return on? For example, is there some forumal or business model that says, in a given club, a certain percentage of members will buy xyz–and how do you guess/compute that percentage?

      How many promo copies do you set aside, based on the quantity of the first run?

      What would you suggest as an advertising budget, say for a 1,000/unit DVD run?

      Is it better to enter the market with 1 title or multiple titles, and if so how does this affect the first run quantity for each title?

      If anyone has experience in this or can speak specifics, I;d appreciate it. Lots more questions, but I will save those for later.

      Thanks

    • #179012
      AvatarTomScratch
      Participant

      Hi,

      Being a former HR guy (recruiter/candidate rater and ranker ), I know I do not meet your screenout criteria for being qualified to respond (i.e., do not have experience in distribution of niche DVD on a massive scale). But here goes anyway.

      It all depends comes to mind as an appropriate response to several of your questions. A number of years ago, Coke introduced New Coke. What was the potential base, already users of the basic product, 20,000,000; 50,000,000 customers worldwide? Very highpriced executives and a marketing research staff goofed, the product didn’t sell, and a lot of New Coke was dumped.

      Some of your success but not all will depend on the quality of your product. It is great that you have confidence, but do you have second opinions, NOT from your friends, relatives, subordinates, neighbors, bosses, or athletes featured in the film, but others who have asserted to the quality of your product? Seasoned consultants out there with solid track records are hard to come by for under $1000 per consult, but their input can be worth it. Even if you have been a pro filmmaker for some time, outside input is a good idea.

      (If you dont like the idea of a consultant dissecting your film, perhaps then a marketing consultant?)

      Lets assume that you have a product that induces the excitement in viewers of the original The Endless Summer, the first major doc on surfing, a huge hit in its day, and an enduring classic.

      Will the participants in the sport be keen to watch a video about the sport, even a great video? No problem if they are featured in it. (Unless you didnt get a release!). Computer gamers can be so into their games, I dont envision that they would pull away from destroying their virtual enemies to merely watch a video about the sport, sort of like looking over another gamers shoulder, unless it was teaching them strategy to reach a higher level of scary euphoria. Guess it depends on the sport.

      Does this sport have conferences or meets where enthusiasts get together to learn the latest tricks, socialize, and compete? Can you get on the agenda and preview your film and start a buzz. Many major motion pictures have been test marketed with substantial changes made to the product, like an ending changed, as a result of feedback during this process. If not a sneak preview of the entire piece, a teaser or trailer perhaps. The reaction of fans/participants of the sport in an upbeat setting could go miles in guiding your decisions about marketing strategies, such as mix of these types of events/print advertising/web presence/cable TV spots; whether to order 500 copies or 5000; and the many tactical, financially sensitive details that you are grappling with.

      Bring more copies to these events than you can possibly imagine selling! πŸ˜€

      Best of luck!

      REGARDS TOM 8)

    • #179013
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I was hoping to hear from someone with actual experience in video or DVD distribution. Maybe someone who has done a how-to dvd before and had some sucess(or not) or at least a few pointers.

      I have some experience with self-publishing, and the sales/distribution model for that is well documented in the trade. I am wondering how that business model will tranfer to dvd publishing/sales.

      Help! there must be a Videomaker who can answer these questions or point me right direction.

    • #179015
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I can’t believe no one from Videomaker can answer this.
      Maybe they could find someone who could…they are the premier Videomaker magazine.

    • #179014
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      dvdrockon,
      This sounds less like a video productions question, and more like a marketing-research question. This forum seems to be populated mostly by videographers and editors. Maybe you can find a marketing forum on the web. There, you might find someone to give you pointers on how best to determine the quantity of product you’re likely to sell in your initial marketing campaign.

      Good luck, πŸ™‚
      Ken Hull

      P.S. — If you do find a marketing forum, let us know!

    • #179016
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      How many DVDs do you make on a first run? There are duplication companies that can do 10-10,000, with all costs in between. —- Find a solution to duplicate them on-demand. When someone buys, make a copy and send it to them. Keep artwork and packaging simple in the early days until you can determine how often you will be placing orders. Once your sales reach a respectable amount or you get a better feel for the size of your market, you can explore making a much higher quantity duplication run with more complex artwork/packaging. The key here is the realize that your customers are buying the content, not the packaging….yet. You’ll spend several thousand dollars making high quantity runs and that’s money you should spend in promoting the DVD in the start-up stages of your project.

      Is there a business model for this that suggests one size run vs. another? — See above.

      What percentage of a hobby group (the 30,000 members) can you expect a return on? For example, is there some forumal or business model that says, in a given club, a certain percentage of members will buy xyz–and how do you guess/compute that percentage? — You have to be careful not to put the cart before the horse. You can’t determine a reasonable percentage of interest until you determine how you plan to market your DVD to this group? Also, back into the calculation so you can determine how many DVDs you’ll have to sell to break even and to make what you’d like to make in profit. Starting with the end in mind will clarify a lot of things. If your project costs $10,000 to produce/promote and you plan to sell your DVD for $30 each…it will take 334 DVDs just to break even. That’s a little more than 1% of the total market which seems reasonable…IF you have a marketing strategy that will effectively reach all the members. The key is to find a way to produce the DVD for as little money as possible. That way, you’ll reach the break-even point faster and you can sell fewer DVDs and still make a reasonable profit.

      How many promo copies do you set aside, based on the quantity of the first run? — I’d put together a few promo clips you can put on a website. This keeps you from having to distribute promo copies.

      What would you suggest as an advertising budget, say for a 1,000/unit DVD run? — Again, think about your break even. How many DVDs will you have to sell to break even on your expenses? I think you should spend some serious time working through a marketing strategy/plan so you’ll better understand your market and how many of them may be interested in buying your DVD.

      Is it better to enter the market with 1 title or multiple titles, and if so how does this affect the first run quantity for each title? — I suggest one title because you’ll want to keep your costs down when first entering the marketplace. Perfect the marketing/distribution strategy for selling one title before you even think about introducing multiple titles.

      — I have produced several special interest videos for clients that do what you are trying to do with your DVDs and I help them develop their marketing strategy/plan for promotion and distribution. Just wanted to give you some info regarding my credentials and experience in this sort of thing. Good luck with your venture. Sounds exciting!

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