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Local Video Stores, E-tailers Draw More High-Frequency Renters

23 Sep, 2004 By: Melinda Saccone

While Blockbuster continues to lead the nation as consumers' DVD rental destination of choice, local video stores score high with high-frequency renters, according to Video Store Magazine's 2004 Consumer Home Entertainment Study.

The study, which polled 600 DVD households, showed that nearly one-third of all consumers who had rented a disc in the past 12 months chose their local video store as their preferred rental location, placing second behind Blockbuster Video (43 percent).

However, a breakdown of Blockbuster, Hollywood, video specialty and online customers shows marked differences in who rents where.

Online renters and independent video stores attract some of the most active renters. The most-established rental consumers make up more than half of online customers. According to the survey, 100 percent of online renters rent at least once a month, with more than half renting at least once a week.

With independent video specialty stores, 84.2 percent of their customers rent at least once a month. By comparison, about 80 percent of Blockbuster and Hollywood customers rent at least once a month.

For the emergent DVD renter, Blockbuster seems to be the destination of choice. The company has succeeded in making its brand synonymous with DVD rental — especially for the inexperienced DVD renter.

Consumers who have owned their DVD players for less than one year were most likely to be Blockbuster customers. This group accounts for 28.6 percent of Big Blue's clientele, according to the survey. By comparison, 22.6 percent of Hollywood, 24.5 percent of video specialty and 15.4 percent of online consumers had owned their DVD players for less than one year.

Females tend to be the dominant renters, accounting for at least 60 percent of customers at all rentailers.

Blockbuster and Hollywood tend to attract the youngest crowds, with nearly 30 percent of their customers under the age of 30. By comparison, 23.9 percent of video specialty customers were under 30. The online community seemed to attract an older crowd, with less than 8 percent of online renters under 30 years old. In fact, nearly 40 percent of online renters are 50 years old or older.

Online renters tend to be in the higher-income brackets as well. One-third of all online renters earn more than $100,000 annually, compared to 18.8 percent of Blockbuster customers, 11.8 percent of Hollywood customers and 6.5 percent of video specialty customers.

Consumers who rent games comprise more than half of Blockbuster and Hollywood customers. By comparison, video specialty customers weren't far behind, with 46.4 percent renting games, and 38.5 percent of online customers renting games.

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