Global demand for recordable DVDs trails only CD-Rs and has become a driving force in the recording media business, an industry group concluded in its forecasts for global demand and production in 2005.
The Japan Recording-Media Industries Association, consisting of 19 Japanese media manufacturers, said demand for CD-R/RW media peaked here in 2003 and that North American demand is expected to peak in 2005. Meanwhile, it said writable DVD demand has exploded.
"The software size has grown large and the capacity of CD-R has fallen short to contain such software," said Yoshitaka Yamaguchi, general manager of Matsushita's media business unit and acting chairman of the Association's optical disk working group.
CD-R demand in the rest of the world continues to grow, but that growth is expected to slow. Thus, CD-R production is expected to grow by 9 percent to 8.5 billion units this year, but slow to 4 percent to 8.8 billion units in 2005.
Write-once DVD disks (DVD-R, +R) are growing at about a three-fold pace. The North American market is expected to grow by 187 percent to 459 million disks. The European market is forecast to grow by 215 percent to 375 million while the Japanese market is forecast to grow 144 percent to 278 million and 248 percent to 80 million in the rest of the world.
As global growth levels off, global demand is estimated to be 1.2 billion disks in 2004 and 2.2 billion for 2005. Rewritable disks are expected to follow a similar pattern.
Japanese manufacturers accounted for 78 percent of world production last year, but their share is expected to drop to 56 percent in 2005. "We've recognized that supply is surpassing demand. Many makers outside of Japan are entering into DVD disk production, especially focusing on the write-once type. Thus, total production is now larger than demand," said Yamaguchi.
Production of write-once DVD disks this year is expected to grow by 259 percent to 1.6 billion disks, or 33 percent larger than estimated demand. Global production is projected to grow by 64 percent to 2.6 billion disks next year, which is still 18 percent larger than projected demand of 2.2 billion.