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DVD Entertainment Group: Total DVD Player Shipments Near 25 Million at Third-Quarter Pole

24 Oct, 2001 By: Hive News

DVD hardware and software sales continued theirrapid growth in the third quarter and expect to accelerate through the holiday selling season, according to figures compiled by Ernst & Young on behalf of the DVD Entertainment Group (www.dvdinformation.com).

Approximately 76 million DVD movies and music video titlesshipped in the third quarter of 2001, according to the Los Angeles-based trade group's survey, nearly a 180% over the same quarter last year. And, more than 225 million units have shipped this year alone - more than half of all the units shipped since the format launch in 1997.

Based on the third-quarter figures, the DVD Entertainment Group projects the fourth quarter to be even more explosive for the format, with collectible titles and recent blockbusters hitting retail shelves for the holidays. The DVD Entertainment Group expects total DVD-Video software shipments to top 170 million in the fourth quarter, bringing the total anticipated number ofshipments to 400 million units this year.

The fourth quarter has opened with record-breaking software sales. The highlyanticipated Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, last week claimed to be "the fastest selling DVD of all time"with first-day DVD revenue topping $17 million.

Long-awaited children's classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, also reached a major milestone by selling more than one million copies in its first day of release. Retailers are anticipating that this title will be the best-selling family DVD to date.

The Mummy Returns, from Universal Studios Home Video, recently topped the sales charts, selling more than two million copies in its first week.

In addition, the eagerly awaited The Godfather DVD Collection was also a top seller in its first week,paving the way for other boxed sets to be big holiday sellers.

A number of additional DVD heavyweights will be released in time for the holidays, such as this year's top box-office draw Shrek.

There are currently 11,500 DVD movies and music video titles available, with nearly13,000 expected to be released by year-end, according to the trade group. The cumulative box-office gross of the releases for the fourth quarter is more than $3.2 billion.

DVD music video has also been a key growth area of development for the format. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), this segmentcomprises the largest increase in sales for music. DVD music video sales were upnearly 100% to $70 million during this period.

Anticipated DVD music video releases for the holidays include titles from Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Green Day, Bonnie Rait, Backstreet Boys, The Ramones, Jay-Z, Sugar Ray and Paul McCartney.

Hardware Continues Record Pace

Based on data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the sales of all video products were down by nearly 12% through the third quarter of this year. Yet, even in this environment, DVD continued its record growth. According to figures compiled by the DVD Entertainment Group based on data from the CEA, retailers and manufacturers, more than 3.8 million DVD players were shipped to retail, bringing the total units shipped since the format's launch to more than 24 million. Year-to-date, thisrepresents a 55% increase over the same period last year.

Hardware players sold through to U.S. consumers have reached more than 22 millionunits.

The DVD trade group projects that the growth in DVD player sales will continue and estimates that the number of players shipped since introduction will near 30 million by the end of this year.

There are now more than 125 DVD player models marketed under 50 different consumer electronics brands. DVD players are available at practically all consumerelectronics retailers and have become a focal point of the home theater category. There are also a wide variety of DVD products available, including portables, DVD-Video/Audio combination units and car players.

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