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DVD-V, -Audio Acceptance Tallied By Trade Group

DVD player sales to consumers grew 72 percent last year to 16.7 million units, bringing the installed base to 31.3 million units since the first DVD player was sold in 1997, according to statistics released at CES by the DVD Entertainment Group.

The hardware sales include component players, portable models and home-theater-in-a-box systems, but exclude DVD-ROM drives and game consoles that play DVDs.

Retail-level sales of DVD-Video discs, the group said, rose 149 percent to 249 million units and 142 percent in dollars to $4.6 billion. The dollar sales exceeded sales of prerecorded VHS tapes (at $3.8 billion) for the first time even though there were only 25 million DVD households in 2001 compared to 96 million VCR households, the group said.

VHS tape is still on top, however, when it comes to combined consumer expenditures on video-software rentals and purchases. VHS rentals and purchases accounted for $10.8 billion in consumer expenditures last year compared to DVD’s $6 billion.

In other announcements, the group said:

  • The number of available DVD-Audio software titles hit 125 at the end of 2001, with a couple dozen more due in coming weeks and a total of 350-365 titles forecast to be available by the end of 2002. The forecast doesn’t include titles from Universal Music or BMG, which haven’t yet licensed the DVD-Audio format. The number includes EMI Records Group, Warner Music and independent music companies.
  • The number of DVD-Audio/Video combination players available grew to 40 models from 10 manufacturers at the end of the year.
  • The average household bought 15 DVD-Video discs in 2001 compared to 12 in 1999. “The buying habit is growing,” said Warner Home Video president Warren Lieberfarb.

In 2002, the group projects unit shipments of players to dealers will grow 25 percent to 20.8 million units from 2001’s 16.6 million.

The group based its hardware sales estimates on information obtained from CEA, retailers and manufacturers. The software statistics are based on information from AC Nielsen, VideoScan, VidTrac and retail estimates.