distribution Physical Vs. Digital Home Video Release

Hi there,

I'm just about to release my last project (a documentary feature) on home video.

I have an offer from a distributor, which entails self-manufacturing DVDs and BDs. I have retained the right to sell from the film's website. The distributor will get the DVDs into stores and will try to get the film onto online platforms, taking a 20-30% cut.

I am definitely going to do a physical release, but am wondering how many sales I will get from VOD and if it might increase the risk of piracy (and whether this would actually affect sales negatively. I'm cognizant that DVDs and BDs can be ripped and torrented too), or undercut physical sales. And if VOD is a good avenue, which platform is best. I had been considering Vimeo Pro, as the split seems to be the best, but unsure if it will be offset by the annual fee.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated

Last edited:
Congrats indeed on getting this far!

I've done best with Amazon Prime on my two features - both are also on Vimeo on Demand, and the first (Surviving Family) is also on iTunes.

I realize that it's counter-intuitive, but I've found that the volume of views that I get - even for a small pay off on each one - yields the best result.

Your experience may (will) vary.
I agree that Amazon Prime is the way to go. You can get your film on Amazon Prime VOD (and sell DVDs on Amazon),
all by yourself. You don't need an outside distributor to do this, and best of all IT'S FREE. Vimeo will cost you over $200 a year. As for distributors putting your DVDs into stores, ask him what films he currently distributes, and who is buying.
I've had several films handled by "distributors" and never saw a dime from any of them. Be careful.
Do people still buy physical media? The distributor will get the DVDs into WHAT stores?
I do. I live in the country where I'm lucky to get 1.5 Mbps down with my internet. Streaming is not an ideal option, so I purchase blu-rays for movies. Plus I like the extras and want to watch to the movie in the best quality I can (without a 4K TV). I know I'm not the only one
I'm just saying that I would question any distributor that claims that they can get you some sort of significant indie DVD distribution in the US. What's left of DVD distribution? Best Buy and Wal-Mart? They only carry "the hits". Even if you could get into those stores you won't get any sales without some sort of "home run" of publicity (ex- A major TV show or syndicated radio show mentions your movie).
Last edited: