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Consumers Perceive Greater Value in DVD than VHS

15 Aug, 2002 By: Judith McCourt

DVD households are more satisfied consumers of home entertainment than their VHS counterparts, according to an exclusive Video Store Magazine survey.

In the survey of more than 900 U.S. households, DVD owners doled out consistently higher scores when rating the value and satisfaction with entertainment options -- even on VHS -- than households that have yet to adopt the DVD format.

Using a 10-point scale, respondents assigned the highest value for their dollar to the purchase of DVD software (7.26), while the price of seeing a movie in a theater scored at the bottom of the heap (3.95).

Households with children perceived the value of a disc purchase to be higher than those that had no children, a reflection of the extended entertainment experience owning a DVD offers. The perceived value of a DVD purchase peaked for households with children under the age of 5, with a score of 7.85.

Women gave buying DVD software higher marks for value than men, handing out a score of 7.36, compared to 7.19. Of all demographic groups, women with no children thought purchasing a DVD was the best value for their entertainment dollar, with a rating of 7.97, indicating women are more cost conscious.

The value of a cassette purchase was ranked higher by households that own DVD players (6.77) than by VHS-only households (5.80). Although DVD owners rated the value of purchasing a cassette below that of buying a DVD (7.26), their strong marks for VHS underscore the healthy video-buying appetite of early adopters as well as the latest wave of DVD owners.

DVD rental value also received a significantly higher score (7.03) for DVD households compared to the value VHS-only households derived from the rental experience (6.57).

DVD and non-DVD households assigned the lowest value for the dollar to going to the movies, parsing out a meager 3.95 and 3.93, respectively. The Motion Picture Association of America pegged the average cost of a movie ticket at $5.66 in 2001. By comparison, according to Video Store Magazine market research, the average price of renting a new release on video was $3.41 and, on average, 2.9 people view it before it finds its way back to rental inventory in the latest survey, conducted in May.

Overall, scores consumers gave their primary place for video rentals dropped to 7.76 from 7.83 in the fourth quarter of 2000. The decline continues a five-year trend; in 1997 consumers gave out a generous 8.48 overall satisfaction mark to their rental locations.

Households with DVD players gave higher marks to their rental locations, with an overall grade of 7.90, while VHS households scored their primary places of rental a 7.68.

In terms of rental selection at the video specialty store, VHS took top honors at 7.9, down from 8.18 in 2000. Price satisfaction ranked at the bottom of the list for survey respondents, with a score of 7.15 compared to 7.41 just over a year ago.

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