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Western Europe Makes Big Switch to DVD

8 Mar, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

An estimated 93 percent of home video titles sold in Western Europe will be in DVD format by the year 2007, with low hardware prices and the popularity of the for mat driving the switch, a new report said.

“DVD has affected the way people choose to watch films – homes with a DVD player spend more on buying and renting DVDs than they ever did on VHS cassettes,” according to Screen Digest. “Europeans already spend more on buying and renting DVDs than they do on going to the cinema or buying video games.”The number of Western European homes with some sort of DVD player swelled from 30 million at the end of 2002 to more than 50 million at the end of last year, according to statistics from U.K.-based Screen Digest.

In the U.K., Europe's biggest video market, 45 percent of homes (11.3 million) had DVD players at the end of 2003; that figure is expected to rise to 78 percent by the end of 2007.The format is also changing the rental-sellthrough balance in Europe as it is in the United States, said Screen Digest senior analyst Helen Davis Jayalath.

“The collectability of DVD means that increasing numbers of consumers are opting to buy their favorite titles on disc, rather than rent them — a trend which has had major repercussions on the very structure of the video business in recent years,” she said.

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