The Fastest-Selling Consumer Electronics Product in History

According to the results of the DVD Owners Study, released last week by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), "consumers have overwhelmingly voiced their satisfaction with DVD." The CEA has reported that 1999 was a tremendous year for the DVD player, which became the "fastest-selling consumer electronics product in history," achieving a household penetration level of approximately 5% after only three years in the market.

The CEA says that the results of the study indicate that 85% of owners surveyed expressed satisfaction with their DVD players based on several key buying expectations, most important being enhancement of the viewing experience. The survey reveals that, overall, 92% of owners stated that picture quality was very or somewhat important to their purchase decision, followed closely by sound quality and interest in digital technology.

The CEA's Todd Thibodeaux comments that "the fantastic growth of DVD sales in 1999 was due in large part to consumers' increasing interest in digital technologies. The results of this study indicate a great deal of satisfaction with the digital format, which we believe will lead to further digital entertainment product purchases, stimulating growth across all categories."

Other findings: In terms of content, the average DVD household owns 13 titles. However, 31% of owners who have had their players for at least one year own more than 20 titles, "demonstrating that many owners are still in the process of building their libraries," says the CEA. The CEA claims that the responses indicate that DVD sales have also impacted the rental market. Approximately 7 out of 10 owners of DVD players rent between 1 and 10 titles per month, and 15% of owners stated an increase in their number of movie rentals.

Not surprisingly, the CEA feels the report shows that the growth of DVD has also had a tremendous effect on complementary purchases in the home theater market. "DVD led to the creation of, or helped account for, 16% of all new home-theater systems during the 1997-1999 period. Prior to buying DVD players, approximately 35% of current DVD households had a home-theater system, a penetration rate that confirms many DVD owners have room to further invest in home-theater equipment. That fact, combined with the 44% of DVD owners who have only recently bought their player, indicates a solid future for retailers in terms of complementary purchases of audio/video equipment among owners lacking a full-scale home-theater system."

The CEA's DVD Owners survey was conducted online in January 2000; the results are based on the responses of 1056 owners of DVD players.