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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: DVD Format Grabs More Sellthrough Market Share in July

17 Aug, 2001 By: Judith McCourt

DVD software sales accounted for 36.6% of the total unit sales for July according to VideoScan data, but Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, MGM Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video are well above the average, hovering around a 50:50 split between the two formats.

At the close of the first quarter, VHS sales were outpacing DVD sales by a margin of 1.9 to 1, in July the margin dropped to 1.7 to 1, as the penetration of DVD players in U.S. households continues its upwardmarch.

DVD units accounted for 52.4% of the combined VHS and DVD units Columbia TriStar sold in July.

Meanwhile, 47.9% of MGM unit sales for July came from the DVD format according to VideoScan sales data, although the company failed toland a spot on the top 25 sellers for the month.

VideoScan also shows that DVDs accounted for 41.2% of Warner Home Video’s July sales, which includes units sold under the Warner, NewLine, HBO and PBS labels. Warner swept the market share race for the month, laying claim to the No. 1 spot in VHS, DVD and combined units sold for July. Overall, Warnerunits accounted for 21.3% of combined VHS and DVD units sold in July. Warner grabbed a cool 19.7% of VHS units sold for the month. Warner sales accounted for 24% of DVD unit sales in July.

Finishing No. 2 in the market share sweeps for the month was Buena Vista Home Entertainment, taking 14.8% of the combined unit sales inJuly. Buena Vista’s market share was boosted by strong sales from winning performances from both its VHS and DVD release slate. Thesupplier finished No. 2 in VHS sales for the month with 15.8% of the unit sales. The Book of Pooh, Tales from the Heart was the No. 1 selling cassette for the month outselling its next closest competitor,Universal Studios Home Video’s Bring It On, by a margin of 1.5 to 1.While Buena Vista finished No. 3 in DVD sales in July with 13% of the units sold, the supplier’s Unbreakable, a DVD loaded with extras, was the top-selling DVD for the month.

Comedy was the genre of choice on VHS and placed second on DVD while drama was the top genre of choice for DVD buyers.

DVD continues to dominate the foreign genre in the sellthrough arena,accounting for 87.2% of unit sales, thanks to the evergreenperformance of Columbia TriStar’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, whichfinished No. 6 on July’s DVD seller chart despite its early June release.

Genres also with more than 50% of sales in the DVD format were adult entertainment and dramas, which pulled 52% of their sales from discs in July.VHS still dominated kidvid, family and fitness sales in July. Kidvids pulled 95.3% of their unit sales from cassettes while family faregot 83.6% of sales from cassettes. Fitness fare is almost exclusively VHS with the format accounting for 97.5% of fitness sales in July.

Mass merchants such as Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target are the primary point of purchase with more than 60% of the unit transactions occurringat those locations in July. Discounters wracked up more than three-quarters of VHS sales and 38% of DVD sales.The segment that includes consumer electronic chains such as Best Buy and Circuit City lost market share in the DVD arena to mass merchants inJuly. At the end of the first half, this segment claimed 38% of DVD sales, in July they grabbed 36% of the format’s sales.

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