Strong sales of DVD players in the first half of the year pushed the 4-year-old format into nearly 20% of all TV households.
Nearly 19.5 million of the 20.4 million DVD players shipped to retailers to date have been purchased by consumers, according to the DVD Entertainment Group. So far this year, 5.2 million new DVD players have been shipped to stores -- a nearly 70% increase over the same period last year. Moreover, DVD shipments hit the 20 million mark in half the time the same number of CD players were sold. VCRs took three times as many years to reach that level. Another 10 million DVD players are expected to ship in the second half of the year.
As the number of homes with DVD players explodes, sales of DVD movies and music titles continue to show dramatic increases as well. More than 80 million DVD movies and musicvideo titles were shipped to retailers in the second quarter this year, nearly 21/2 times the number of units shipped in the same period last year, according to figures compiled by Ernst & Young on behalf of the DVD Entertainment Group.
With a record number of catalog and new-release DVD titles representing more than $3 billion in box office clout to be released in the final four months of the year, according to Daily Variety sister publication Video Business, the DVD industry is expecting its biggest surge in sales to date. More than 460 million copies of more than 10,000 DVD movies and music titles have been shipped to retailers since the launch of DVD in 1997.
``In this year's soft retail environment, DVD is the shining light,'' said Emiel N. Petrone, chairman of the DVD Entertainment Group and executive vice president of Philips Entertainment Group, Worldwide.