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EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: DVD Sales Gain Ground on Growth in Family, Kids' Genres

3 Sep, 2002 By: Judith McCourt

DVD dominated July video sales, with almost two-thirds of the month's unit sales coming from that format, according to Nielsen VideoScan data. That compares to only a little more than one-third of sales in July 2001.

DVD accounted for 64 percent of July sales, versus just 37 percent in the same month of 2001.

The format gained status in both the family and children's nontheatrical genres, which have been the bastion of VHS. Family disc product soared in popularity, with DVD scoring as the format of choice for slightly less than half of all purchases made for the genre, a stark contrast to the same month a year ago, when more than 80 percent of family product was sold on cassette. Also adding fuel to DVD's popularity was children's nontheatrical product, which garnered about one-quarter of its monthly sales from DVD, compared to less than 5 percent in July 2001.

Two of the top five sellers in July were family and children's non-theatrical product. Paramount Home Entertainment's Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, a family title, was the overall best seller for the month, taking the No.1 spot in cassette sales and the No. 2 spot on DVD. Of the overall sales mix, 56 percent of Neutron's sales came from cassette sales, with 44 percent coming in the DVD format.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Tarzan & Jane, a children's nontheatrical product, placed second for the month. The title nabbed the No. 2 spot for cassette sales and the No. 10 spot for DVD. The overall product mix for the title was 63 percent VHS and 37 percent DVD.

Other releases finding a place among the top five sellers for July were New Line Home Entertainment's John Q. (No. 3), Universal Studios Home Video's A Beautiful Mind (No. 4) and Warner Home Video's A Walk to Remember (No. 5), all released day-and-date at sellthrough prices on VHS and DVD.

Warner, which includes New Line, HBO and PBS product, was the market-share leader for the month, distributing 21.3 percent of the units sold through to consumers. Two-thirds of the supplier's sales came from the DVD format. The studio's day-and-date sellthrough pricing strategy on cassette and DVD snagged it two of the top five best-sellers -- John Q. and A Walk to Remember -- as well as three places on both the DVD and VHS top sellers charts.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment finished in second berth with 14.2 percent of the overall sellthrough market share for the month. The studio pulled 54 percent of its sales from DVD in July, compared to just one-third of the supplier's sales in the same month last year.

DVD sales are the mainstay of the product mix for most genres in July, and three genres surpassed the 80 percent mark. Leading the pack was foreign films, with 85 percent of overall consumer sales generated from DVD. Mystery/suspense recorded 83 percent of sales coming from DVD, while sci-fi registered at 80 percent.

Just four genres still generate more than 50 percent of their sales from cassettes. Fitness videos trail on the DVD front, with 84 percent of sales coming from VHS. Other categories with majority VHS sales include the children's nontheatrical (76 percent), family (55 percent) and special interest (51 percent) genres.

Comedies aced out dramas as the best-selling genre, with 20.2 percent of unit sales in July. Twentieth Century Fox's Shallow Hal, released for consumer purchase on DVD only, was the best performer in the category, finishing No. 3 on the DVD top sellers list. Dramas took second place, with 19.7 percent of unit sales. Action/adventure, children's nontheatrical and family genres rounded out the top five selling genres for July.

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