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Amazon Buys CustomFlix Service That Burns DVDs

13 Jul, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seeking to broaden its core business strategy of eliminating the distribution middleman, Amazon.com has acquired CustomFlix, a 3-year-old Santa Cruz, Calif.-based service that creates DVDs on demand, including special features and menus.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The deal in essence helps expand Amazon's offerings, particularly of independent films, without taking up warehouse space. It also gives independent filmmakers a platform to sell their movies.

For a $49.95 setup fee and $50 transfer fee ($19.95 for VHS), CustomFlix burns copies ($6.95 to $9.95) per order, including packaging and shipping. It charges 5 percent commission per unit sale.

Filmmakers also can create customized 60-second QuickTime trailers ($9.95 each) for titles that play on personalized Web pages established on CustomFlix.com.

Amazon spokesperson Patricia Smith said the company acquired CustomFlix because it meshed well with its mission of helping customers “find, discover and buy” virtually anything they want online.

“While we previously offered CustomFlix titles in our catalog, we will now be able to better merchandise these titles to our customers, helping them to discover titles and [independent] filmmakers they might not have otherwise found,” Smith said.

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