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DEG: DVD Shipments Down

11 Jul, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Studio DVD unit shipments were off 4% in the first half of this year, supporting Home Media Retailing market-research estimates that consumer spending on DVD purchases and rentals was down 3.7% in the same time frame.

During Tuesday's opening business session at the 25th annual Video Software Dealers Association Convention, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group reported that more than 740 million DVDs shipped to retailers in the first half of 2006, according to figures compiled by Kaplan, Swicker & Simha for the DEG. That's down 4% from last year's first-half shipment tally of 772 million units.

Since the DVD format was launched in 1997, the DEG estimates 6.3 billion discs have been shipped, with more than 60,000 distinct titles available to consumers.

As DVD player penetration approaches 85 million households, the DEG reports, hardware sales also have flattened, clocking in at nearly 14 million players sold to U.S. consumers in the first half of 2006, virtually the same as last year.

Since launch, more than 175 million DVD-capable devices have been sold to U.S. consumers. This category includes set-top and portable DVD players, DVD recorders, home-theater-in-a-box systems, and TV-DVD combo players.

About 52% of DVD owners have more than one player, the DEG reports.

“What we've seen in the first half of the year is a natural, expected slowing of DVD sales,” said Steve Nickerson, a member of the DEG's communications committee and SVP of market management for Warner Home Video.

“DVD sales are virtually flat, [but] consumers in some 85 million U.S. households continue to enjoy their DVDs beyond the living room into every room of the home, as well as into cars and a variety of portable devices for use on the go,” Nickerson said.

He added that while the business is overall flat, the industry “is also seeing growth from such genres as music DVD and special-interest films.”

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