Selling pressed or replicated product comes with additional steps and mental labor. Depending on your level of patience or available time, it may be worth the trip. When you have no choice in the matter and have to go with door number two, the cost difference is a bit of a sticker shock if you’re a small-potatoes outfit. And by “potatoes” I mean “budget”.
For the consumer the price for a Blu-ray release isn’t that much more than it is for the DVD edition. Not so for the person producing the release, and this is my main point in writing this blog series, so that it’s a little clearer to fans as to why Blu-ray is not a viable option most of the time for a label like mine.
For Blu-ray, you have to order at least 1,000 copies. Ka-ching (that’s onomatopoeia for a cash register, BTW). The process involves a glass master being made in order to stamp the 1,000 pieces. Ka-ching. Blu-ray authoring — the process that sets up menus and chapter stops and the ability to navigate around all this — is not easily available for home video enthusiasts the way DVD authoring was and has to be done by the disc house. Ka-ching again.
However, the biggest below-the-line item on Blu-ray replication is that there is a license fee to replicate in the Blu-ray format. And that license fee has to be paid, and it’s a big price. All of these pieces pretty much double the cost of production. Ka-chingitty-ching.
Plus you have to stow the several boxes of 100 units each somewhere, after the initial flurry of sales in the first few months of the release, for however many years it takes to sell off that product.
For you, the difference between buying a DVD and a Blu-ray may look like a price difference between buying an air conditioner and buying one with the 2-year service contract. For me, on the production and distribution side, it’s the cost difference between renting an intermediate-size Chevy for a weekend and renting the same size Lexus.
As I mentioned in my last post, you have no guarantee you’re going to sell off those 1,000 copies, especially in a niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche market title, no matter how recognizable you may think the film’s star is. And if you do manage to sell off your initial run of 1,000 discs, the release has to go out of print. Because the minimum order for replicated Blu-rays is 1,000 pieces.
On top of this is the fact that many people do not have Blu-ray players. Still? Really? Yes, and I’ll cover that in my next post, along with the coming possibilities of (duplicated) Blu-ray-R’s.