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VSDA: Video Tallies Record $18.7B in 2001

18 Jul, 2002 By: Joan Villa

The home video industry tallied a record-breaking 2001 with $18.7 billion in total U.S. spending as DVD sellthrough sales outpaced VHS for the first time, according to a new annual report issued by the Video Software Dealers Association.

Consumers are choosing DVD for purchase but renting the new format far less than VHS, the report shows.

Rental numbers totaled $8.4 billion in 2001, with $7 billion devoted to VHS and only $1.4 billion for DVD.

By genre, DVD rental consumers chose comedy (29.4 percent share), followed by drama (19.9 percent), action (17.8 percent) and suspense (11.9 percent), VSDA/VidTrac numbers show.

Sellthrough outpaced rental in the VSDA's data, as consumers spent $5.4 billion purchasing DVD and $4.9 billion on VHS for a total of $10.3 billion.

However, while the DVD format had the bigger market share in terms of total spending, consumers purchased more VHS units: 354 million VHS units vs. 249 million DVDs, according to VideoScan.

Blockbuster outpaced Wal-Mart in total U.S. video revenue, generating $3.55 billion among its 5,374 U.S. outlets, compared to Wal-Mart's $3 billion for 2,713 locations, according to Video Store Magazine data cited in the report.

DVD hardware penetration rose to 25 percent of all U.S. television households, and is expected to grow another 10 points to 35 percent by year-end.

Last year's game market was also vibrant, as U.S. consumers spent $633.6 million renting video games and a record $6 billion buying video game software, including computer software, the report revealed.

PlayStation 2's Grand Theft Auto 3 was the top-selling game of the year, the report noted.

DreamWorks Home Entertainment's Shrek was the top-selling DVD and VHS of the year. In rentals, Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Unbreakable topped the DVD chart and Universal Studio's Meet the Parents was the top-renting title on VHS.

“Home video is in an enviable position,” concluded VSDA president Bo Andersen in a prepared statement, noting it is still consumers' “most preferred” delivery option.

A previous estimate of consumer spending in 2001 sparked controversy this year.

The DVD Entertainment Group's figures, presented by Warner Home Video president Warren Lieberfarb at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, resulted in some industry backlash because they differed so markedly from the other numbers.

The VSDA's 2001 numbers fall roughly between the low-end and the high-end estimates from other industry sources.

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