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NPD: TV DVD Saving DVD Sales

24 Oct, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sales of TV DVD helped cushion a slowing DVD market in the first half of 2006, according to new data from research firm The NPD Group.

The genre realized a 25% sales increase the first half of the year and represented 9% of total DVD sales compared to 7% last year.

Through June, DVD sales for the year increased 4% from last year — half the percentage sales increase during the same period in 2005.

Leading categories included one-hour TV dramas, such as “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost” and “24,” which increased 48% from last year. The adult-animation category, which included “The Family Guy” and “The Simpsons” grew 36%, while sales of science fiction titles increased 34% and half-hour comedies grew 7%.

“Americans remain passionate about their favorite TV programs and that passion is in evidence when they purchase DVD,” said Russ Crupnick, senior industry analyst for The NPD Group.

The NPD also noted significant growth in the online rental or purchase of digital TV content from Web retailers such as Apple iTunes, MovieFlix and CinemaNow.

There was a 39% increase in subscription rentals of TV content and a 255% increase in TV-title digital video downloads between August 2005 and August 2006.

NPD said consumers who purchased TV DVD were twice as likely as the average consumer to download digital video content. They reported that 92% of consumers who downloaded a video last year, expected to download the same amount or even more this year.

For the year through August, iTunes was the most popular paid video download site with 67% of video downloads followed by MovieFlix with 19% and CinemaNow was third with 9%.

“Improvements in digital delivery will begin to dramatically change the TV-watching landscape, but it might take a few years to become commonplace,” Crupnick said. “Right now it's a great way to download and catch up with a missed episode, or sample a new program on a network's site. The key challenge for TV DVD in the immediate future is having a continued pipeline of new content that appeals to consumers and even more creative packaging of older classic TV shows.”

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