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Digital Recorder Sell-Through Up Despite Flat Economy: NPD

Retail-level sales of digital audio recording products withstood the lackluster economy during the first three quarters of the year, an NPD Intelect market tracking survey found.

Total unit sales of MiniDisc with PC links, CD-recorders and Internet audio portables grew 50 percent. The growth was only 11 percent when NPD factors in MiniDisc portables that lack PC links. Their sales fell to 40,884 from 151,074.

“The PC interface has repositioned MiniDisc to compete with MP3 portables,” said NPD consumer electronics director Jim Hirschberg. “MD models without the PC interface have been fading away.”

Excluding MDs that lack PC links, digital recorder sales rose during the first through third quarters by 50 percent in units to 486,705 and 26 percent in dollars to $129.8 million, NPD found.

However MD sales are calculated, unit sales during the first through third quarters of this year were highest in Internet portables, followed by CD-recorders.

When all MD hardware is factored in, MD accounted for 38.6 percent of total unit sales during the first three quarters of 2000, followed by Internet portables at 32 percent and CD-recorders at 29 percent. During the same period in 2001, MD slipped to last place with 27 percent, with CD-recorders coming in second at 34 percent and Internet portables at 38.6 percent.

When only MD with PC links are considered, the rankings are the same, with MD at 21 percent of sales, CD-recorders at 37 percent, and Internet portables at 42 percent.

NPD’s results are based on actual consumer transactions at more than 13,000 retail outlets, including appliance and electronics stores, office and computer superstores, mass merchants, mail-order companies and department stores. Respondents include click & mortar retailers but not pure Internet retailers.

Digital Audio Recorder Sell-Through

(Jan.- Sept.)