DVD Bucks Video Trend

According to the latest figures released by the DVD Entertainment Group, DVD hardware and software sales continued their rapid growth in the third quarter and are anticipated to accelerate through the holiday selling season.

The statistics reveal that approximately 76 million DVD movies and music video titles shipped in the third quarter of 2001, nearly a 180% increase over the same quarter last year. Also reported is that more than 225 million units have shipped so far this year, which, the group says, is more than half of all the units shipped since the format launch in 1997.

Based on data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the sales of all video hardware products were down by nearly 12% through the third quarter, compared to the same period last year. Yet even in this environment, the figures indicate that DVD itself continued its record growth; in the third quarter 3.8 million DVD players were sold compared with 2.7 million sold in the same quarter last year. Year-to-date, DVD players have posted a 55% increase in sales over the same period last year.

The DVD Entertainment Group projects that the growth in DVD player sales will continue and estimates that the number of players shipped since introduction will near 30 million by the end of this year.

The fourth quarter is also looking good for software, with many collectible titles and recent blockbusters hitting retail shelves for the holidays. The DVD Entertainment Group says it expects total DVD-Video software shipments to top 170 million in the fourth quarter, bringing the total anticipated number of shipments to 400 million units this year.

As an example, the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode 1—The Phantom Menace claimed the crown earlier this month as the fastest selling DVD of all time with first day DVD revenue topping $17 million. The children's classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs also reached a major milestone by selling more than one million copies in its first day of release. Retailers say they are anticipating that this title will be the best selling family DVD to date.