TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- This holiday season might represent a breakthrough for DVD sales of family titles, according to retailers and others in the video industry.
"It's just a matter of time," said Paul Richardville, director of video, Reasor's, based here. "Look at how many DVD players are out there. We think that now that the price is down under $100, we believe that sell-through will pick up after Christmas."
Consumer spending on DVD titles is expected to reach $8.6 billion this year, more than double last year's sales of $4.2 billion, according to Adams Media Research, Carmel Valley, Calif.
Although the so-called "early adopters" of the DVD format tended to be 18- to 25-year-old males, the format has now gained mainstream appeal, as indicated by the DVD sales success of "Snow White," from Buena Vista, Burbank, Calif., and of "Shrek," from DreamWorks, Glendale, Calif.
Shrek, the No. 1 theatrical release of the year, set a DVD sales record with 5.5 million units sold to consumers in the first month of its release.
"You have to believe that families are getting into the marketplace, based on the numbers we are now seeing," said Kelly Sooter, head of domestic home entertainment, DreamWorks.
Mike Gorman, research analyst, Alexander & Associates, New York, pointed out that the popularity of titles such as "Shrek" on DVD isn't necessarily an indication that children's titles will follow.
"Shrek isn't exactly Barney," he said.
In fact, Adams Media predicts that the VHS format will pull in $5 billion in consumer spending three years from now, in 2004, and won't dip below the $1 billion mark until 2010.