The first factor influencing the consumption of any information product you deliver in DVD format is whether your DVD will automatically begin to play whenever it is inserted into someone’s DVD player or their computer. You’ll certainly have better consumption of your video content if the disc autoplays upon insertion.
You should have a menu similar to what you see at the beginning of most DVD movies which allows the viewer to select what they want to view on the disc. If your content contains several sections you definitely want to put the control into the hands of the viewer to select whichever section they want to view.
If you opt to put your video content onto a data disc rather than an autoplay disc then people will only be able to watch your DVD on their computer. This will create some confusion with some viewers when they slip the disc into their traditional DVD player and it will not work. It will increase your customer service burden without a doubt.
Data DVDs Can Contain More Than Just Video
Just remember that data DVDs can contain much more than just video content. You might have mp4 file formatted video files on your disc but you can also have pdf files, mp3 files, spreadsheets, word documents or any other kind of data on a data DVD.
Again, people will have to access your content via their computer by clicking on the specific file they want to watch, listen to, read or view. If your video content is included on a data DVD you need to have very clear instructions on your disc label as well as the product packaging itself stating they MUST access the disc’s content on their computer.
Regardless of whether your video content is contained on an autoplay disc or on a data disc you should have a listing of the contents on the disc(s) and on your product packaging.
For a multiple disc set be sure to encourage people when they’ve reached the end of a particular disc to continue on with the program by inserting the next DVD in the set into their player.
Stimulate Consumption By Acknowledging Progress
You want to continue to stimulate that consumption by acknowledging their advancement through your materials and by keeping them moving forward. You can even preview coming attractions at the end of a disc with teasers of the cool things they are going to learn on the next disc in your series.
As much as possible you need to break your video content down into bite sized chunks. We recommend no more than a couple of hours of video on a single DVD. But even that two hour piece should be broken down into segments that people can consume in anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes.
People need to have that sense of forward progress so don’t inhibit consumption by overwhelming your viewers with segments that are too long.
Another factor that can influence consumption occurs during the mastering phase of your video. There are what are known as “Region Codes”.
Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code) defines DVD region codes as a “…digital rights management technique designed to allow film distributors to control aspects of a release, including content, release date, and price, according to the region”.
This is achieved by way of region locked DVD players, which will play back only DVDs encoded to their region along with those without any region code. DVDs may use one code, a combination of codes (multi- region), every code (all region) or no codes (region free).
For maximum consumability of your video DVD products we certainly encourage you to not incorporate any region codes into your disc when it is mastered.