DVD Players Blast Aside VCRs with Sales Explosion

Jul 09, 2002

DVD player unit sales jumped 39 percent from January through May from the same period a year ago, according to a study by researcher NPDTechworld. The study estimated that some 4.9 million DVD players, including those combined with a television, have been sold so far this year, up from 3.5 million a year ago. Sales in the preceding 12 months — June 2001 through May 2002 — are up 76 percent at 17.5 million, reports Reuters.

In just 5 years, the movie machines can be found in about one in every three U.S. households, and could reach 90 percent of homes by 2010. That’s almost twice as fast as it took for VCRs to hit the same level of penetration, according to NPDTechworld. VCR sales have plummeted as a result.

The average price for a DVD player stands at about $153, NPDTechworld analyst Tom Edwards says, although many can be found for less than $100. That’s a steep discount from 1997 when the first consumer DVDs hit store shelves at around $600 each. Moreover, DVD player sales have jumped at a time when the troubled economy and concerns about terror attacks have made consumers spend more to beef up their home entertainment options.

The DVD growth spurt is thanks in part to retailers’ aggressive moves to embrace DVD technology. Circuit City Stores Inc. recently begin phasing out the sale of videotape movies in favor of DVDs, and last year rental giant Blockbuster began to clear its shelves of tapes to make way for disks.

Moderator Comment: Is videotape going the way of the eight-track? Beyond consumer sales, what are the benefits of DVD technology for business?

We still miss songs being broken into pieces on sides A and B – not! Ah, the ’70s. We wish we could remember them. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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