The good news is DVD isn’t dead for some titles, and the better news is that if you handle it yourself, you can get a better margin per sale than any other part of the exploitation of your rights.
My film Neither Wolf Nor Dog has been self-distributed by me into cinemas in the US, UK Canada and Bulgaria so far and we’ve booked it into about 600 venues in total. Over 200 full-run theatres in the US (average run is 2-weeks (11-weeks was our longest in a single cinema)). But when selling the DVD direct on my site we’re average around $38 per transaction on our store. The per-unit costs are negligible and where we offer a better deal to our customers is that we partner with a manufacturer and fulfilment company in China and the shipping to the US is cheaper than the US to the US, and we can offer those great rates to our customers throughout the world, rather than very expensive shipping from the US. Their fulfilment/shipping is under half of the costs of Amazon doing it and unlike Amazon, they don’t charge for warehousing. Contact me if you’re interested in their service. Their manufacturing is also a lot cheaper and all the elements can be delivered to them via the cloud. My email is email@example.com
In addition to this, the best value work you can do is creating great value-added extras for a special edition, as if you have a title people will be very interested in, then the $10 or so you make extra per unit, can add up to a sizable amount relative to the small amount of work it takes to create the features. I’ve just opened up our DVD sales and it has already more than covered the costs of the film (theatrical was also giving us a good profit margin as a distributor).
In the New Year, I will be creating an extensive indie film masterclass video series on how you can make a profitable feature through your own distribution without ever needing the industry’s support, aside from cinemas. Subscribe to this blog for updates or follow me at https://www.facebook.com/stevenlewissimpson/ my store is here https://kapana.media/store/
You can view my TEDx Talk on self-distribution here. It was recorded less than half-way through my release, which is the longest first-run theatrical release of any movie in the US in over a decade.