LOS ANGELES -- Someday the DVD juggernaut may slow down, but from the latest numbers released by the DVD Entertainment Group here, it doesn't look like that will happen anytime soon.
There was a 93% increase of DVD software titles shipped to retail in the first quarter of 2003 compared to the same period a year ago. In units, 231.7 million DVDs were shipped to retail in the first three months of the year, and the total number of DVD units shipped since the format's launch has reached 1.6 billion. The DVD Entertainment Group numbers were compiled by Ernst & Young, New York.
"The DVD format continues to grow rapidly in the grocery channel as it is doing in the other channels of business, and is exceeding growth expectations," said Bob Chapek, who is both president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Burbank, Calif., and president of the DVD Entertainment Group.
"DVD is going to be huge," said Bob Gettner, video buyer/coordinator, B&R Stores, Lincoln, Neb. "Once they finally get those recordable players out there at a decent price point, I think we are going to see VHS go away very quickly," he said.
"DVD growth continues to increase at a dramatic rate due to the low cost of DVD players, along with DVD's quality and its product features," said Bill Bryant, vice president, sales, Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn.
The DVD Entertainment Group also reported that hardware sales in the first quarter increased 24% over the same period in 2002. There were more than 4.4 million DVD players sold to consumers in the first quarter, bringing the total number of players in the market now to almost 60.9 million in more than 43 million households. The group said that means more than 10 million homes now have two or more DVD players. It expects the number of DVD-owning households in the U.S. will reach 55 million by the end of this year. The DVD Entertainment Group's hardware figures are based on data from the Consumer Electronics Association, Arlington, Va.
"DVD players continue to electrify the consumer electronics space," said Jerry Barbera, vice president, JVC America, Wayne, N.J. Barbera also co-chairs the DVD Entertainment Group's Music on DVD committee.
"With a variety of innovations, such as DVD recorders, hard disk drive combinations and multimedia-featured units, the latest players offer the end-user an expanded array of choices. These advancements, in concert with more affordable pricing, are why DVD players continue to be the centerpiece of the home entertainment experience and, in many cases, the catalyst for the home theater purchase."