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Appeared on: Thursday, November 27, 2003
Recordable DVD Market enters the era of full-scale global popularization

The Japanese Recording-Media Industries Association recently announced its forecasts for 2004 global demand and production of recording media products based upon estimates for 2003.

The product categories addressed in the survey are Audio Tape, Audio MiniDisk (MD), Audio CD-R, Video Tape, Floppy Disk, MO, CD-R/RW, Recordable DVD and small sized memory cards.

The forecast indicates a significant demand increase for Recordable DVDs in accordance with full-scale global popularization and a startup of Mini DVC demand in Europe and the U.S. among video media.

Due to the fixation of new production patterns such as the production shift to overseas sites, OEM production consignment to overseas manufacturers, or ODM in optical disc production, the association considered that a forecast limited to Japanese domestic production does not reflect actual figures. Thus,the association decided to adopt a global production forecast as its unified standard and to obtain the figures of Japanese manufacturers including their overseas production.

Forecast for 2004 Global Demand and Global Production

Audio CD-R

The global demand for audio CD-R will surpass the demand for audio MD, showing a continuous healthy growth of 6% to 301 million units, of which Japanese demand will be 27 million units, an increase of 4% over 2003. The demand for audio CD-Rs is expected to show a stable increase supported by high-end audio users.

CD-R for data use

Global demand will increase by 8% to 7,510 million units and healthy growth is expected. On the other hand, Japanese demand will remain unchanged at 400 million units. The main reasons for the Japanese figures may be that compared to other countries, DVD recorders have shown a more rapid popularity growth with PC use and video use, and there has been a rapid increase of PC utilization for AV media such as high resolution DVC (digital video camera) and DSC (digital still camera) and downloading of visual information. Global production of CD-Rs (data use and audio use combined) will show a healthy growth of 9% to 8,680 million units, and many Japanese affiliated manufacturers will secure a stable supply to meet demand by utilizing an ODM production method.

CD-RW (data use and audio use combined)

Global use is expected to increase by 8% to 353 million units. Competition due to the growing popularity of CD-RW compatible recordable DVD drives is anticipated, but stable demand for CD-RWs is expected through the co-existence of both media due to differences in recording capacity.

Recordable DVD

Global demand for recordable DVD is forecast as 955 million units, 785 million units of which are write-once type, which will show strong growth of 128% over 2003, and 170 million units of which are re-writable, which will also show strong growth of 107% over 2003.

Demand by region is Japan: 34%, North America: 36% and Europe: 25%, and the figures show that increases in Japanese and North American markets will lead global demand.

As for the demand for video use DVD by type, demand for write-once type is 100 million units (89% increase over 2003) with a share of 64%, the demand for re-writable type is 57 million units (78% increase over 2003) with a share of 36%.

Concerning demand for data use DVDs, demand for write-once type will be 150 million units (142% increase over 2003) with a share of 91%, and re-writable type demand will be 14 million (56% increase) with a share of 9%. It is possible to say that write-once type is good for data use and re-writable is good for video use. Global production will exceed 1 billion units, consisting of a 127% increase in production for write-once type to 862 million units, and a 108% increase in production for re-writable type to 187 million. The Japanese manufacturers’ share of production will be as high as 85% for write-once type and 84% for re-writable type.

Production of recordable DVDs requires advanced technologies such as high-density stamper technologies, high-density recording film technologies and high-speed recording film technologies, so Japanese manufacturers will continue to have a high share, allowing some increase in ODM production.

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