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Friday, June 20, 2003
DVD rentals top videocassettes for first time

Weekly rentals of DVDs outpaced videos for the first time last week, an industry group said on Thursday, as movies and entertainment on disks continued their steady conquest over VHS videocassettes.

Encino, California-based Video Software Dealers Association said 28.2 million DVDs were rented in the week ended June 15 compared with 27.3 million VHS cassettes.

"Since the advent of video rental 25 years ago, videocassettes have been the dominant format for video rental. Just over six years since its launch, DVD has supplanted that pioneering technology in the rental market," said VSDA President Bo Andersen.

Since their launch in 1997, DVDs -- which offer crisper digital pictures, clearer sound and last longer -- have steadily made gains against the older, video technology.

DVD sales have eclipsed video sales, and just this past March, the weekly revenue from DVD rentals exceeded VHS rental revenue for the first time, according to VSDA.

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