Make Your Own Movie DVD with Amazon CustomFlix Video on Demand

The on-demand aspect of CustomFlix attracts me since it comes so close to the print on demand book publishing model I normally write about. Once you make your own movie and sign up with CustomFlix, you can send them a master DVD of your movie along with any cover or disc art, and the production and sales of the DVD's becomes entirely hands-off. When an order is generated, CustomFlix will print a DVD on demand, reproduce the artwork, and get it to the customer. You just sit back and collect the checks.

The current charge to make your own movie available through the CustomFlix collection is $49.95. They charge a flat fee for production of each DVD plus packaging, according to your sales volume for the month. If you sell less than 19 movie DVD's, the production charge per unit is $9.95. If you sell between 20 and 50 DVD's, the charge is $7.95 and if you sell over 50 DVD's, the charge is $6.95. There's also a 5% charge per sale for credit card processing, but the volume is totaled over all the movie DVD's you publish through CustomFlix, so if you have more than one title, you'll make the volume targets quicker.

Here's the good news - you get to make up the price your DVD movie sells for. If you can attract customers at a $19.95 sale price, you'll be making almost $10 each at low quantities and $13 each at higher quantities. If you can get customers at a $29.95 price, you'll make almost $20 per sale, and so on. Fortunately, pricing for DVD movies follows book pricing to the extent that the blockbuster bestsellers are cheaper than the how-to and educational books. You can buy a paperback novel for less than $10, but try buying a college textbook for that. If you can create and market DVD movies for niche markets and educational buyers, you can earn a high profit per DVD without having to invest in any stock or shipping and handling infrastructure.

Now the bad news. Amazon only acquired CustomFlix two months ago, and they haven't fully integrated the CustomFlix DVD catalog into the Amazon catalog yet. At the moment, CustomFlix movie DVD's are sold direct from CustomFlix, and even though they give you an internet storefront, it's not the same for customers as buying direct from Amazon. CustomFlix will get your DVD movie listed in the Amazon catalog so it can be sold through Marketplace as well, but it's not an ideal solution. It's likely that they'll get the problem fixed in the near future, and your movies will be available direct from Amazon with 24 hour shipping.

The other bad news is two-fold. First you have to make your own movie, and from what I've seen, this isn't a minor investment of time or money even for a relatively straightforward how-to DVD. You can't expect to set up a camera on a tripod and count on the auto-focus to keep you framed and sharp as you do whatever it is you're trying to teach. You need a camera man, quality sound and some decent editing software if you're hoping for a result that won't leave customers screaming for their money back.

Second, you have to market your own movie. How-to and educational subjects are ideal for Internet marketing because so many people use the web to search for information on how to do things. You can provide example movie clippings in compressed format for free download to close the sale, but you'll need a text based website to attract traffic. Of course, you can experiment with Internet advertising programs like Google Adwords or Yahoo Overture as well, but it's not free, so you'll have to take it into account in your business model. Still, the acquisition of CustomFlix by Amazon is an indication that making money with DVD on-demand movies has arrived, at least for the former owners of CustomFlix

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