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DEG Predicts a Green Christmas

21 Oct, 2003 By: Holly J. Wagner

DVD is set to tip the scales in the United States, with players in half of all American homes by year's end, according to figures compiled by Ernst & Young on behalf of the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).

As players push into homes, titles follow. In the third quarter, nearly 215 million DVD software units shipped to retail, a 40 percent increase from the same period last year. The total number of units shipped in North America has reached more than 2 billion since the DVD format's launch in 1997.

“The fourth quarter of this year looks to be shaping up as one of the strongest in this industry's history. Not only has the hardware penetration grown beyond our expectations, the lineup and diversity of the software titles being offered will prove to make this year end a phenomenal success,” said Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment and the DEG.

More than 26,000 titles are available, and the DEG is anticipating that the fourth-quarter holiday selling season will be the biggest yet, with $3.8 billion worth of box office hits coming into the marketplace on DVD. In addition, other genres such as TV, family movies, classics and music titles fuel sales.

More than 6.4 million DVD players were sold to U.S. consumers in the third quarter, a 36.5 percent increase from the same period last year, according to figures compiled by the DEG based on data from the Consumer Electronics Association, retailers and manufacturers.

More than 73 million DVD players have sold since launch, bringing the number of DVD households to more than 48 million (adjusting for households with more than one player). Due to the variety of players available, from combination TV/DVD and DVD-Audio/Video players to recordable, portable and car models, approximately 34 percent of DVD owners now have more than one player.

“For the past few years, manufacturers have adopted a strategy of offering consumers a wide array of choices when it comes to purchasing DVD players, and this appears to be paying off,” said Joe Stinziano, GM, home audio/video, Sony Electronics and VP of the DEG. “As DVD-Recordable products continue to gain momentum, we're also seeing a marked rise in the purchase of second-room units, many of which are either combination or multidisc or carousel models.”

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