DVD Spun to New Heights in 2003

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Noting the numerous DVD sales and rental records set in 2003, the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) today declared that 2003 was “the year of DVD” in the home video market.

“We have simply run out of superlatives to describe the DVD phenomenon,” said VSDA President Bo Andersen. “It’s bigger and better than anyone imagined it could be.”

Consumers spent record amounts purchasing and renting DVDs in 2003. Adams Media Research estimates that consumer purchases of DVDs totaled more than $12 billion in 2003, up $3.9 billion, or 46%, from 2002. Consumers spent an additional $4.3 billion renting DVDs in 2003 (through December 21, 2003), up 53% from the same period last year, according to Home Video Essentials (a product of Rentrak Corporation). The number of DVDs rented also set a record in 2003. Home Video Essentials reports that, through December 21, 2003, approximately 1.3 billion DVDs were rented during the year — up 55% from the same period in 2002.

Other notable milestones for DVD in 2003 include:

  • The DVD buy rate in 2003 was approximately 17 discs per player. This is nearly three times the peak average number of VHS titles purchased per year, six in 1996.
  • The retail price of DVDs is now at its lowest ever. The average price of a DVD at the end of 2003 was $20.21, down from a high of $25.53 in 1999. And the average cost of a DVD rental in 2003 was just $3.20.
  • More that one-half of all U.S. households had a DVD player by the end of last year.
  • It is estimated that there are now more than 30,000 titles available on DVD. Another 160 titles are released on DVD every week.
  • Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo became the top-selling DVD of all time in November, when it sold 15 million units during its first 12 days of availability.
  • TV shows on DVD showed tremendous growth. Approximately 6% of DVD titles released in 2003 were television series, up from 3.9% in 2002. It is estimated that sales of TV DVD totaled $1.46 billion in 2003.

    Looking ahead, Andersen anticipates continued strong growth in the DVD sales and rental markets. “Home video is America’s favorite way to watch the latest movies, and DVD is America’s favorite home video format,” Andersen stated. “The superior video and audio quality, the bonus scenes, and the special features of DVD have captivated the American public. Given that we have just passed the fifty percent mark in DVD player household penetration, I would say this love affair is just starting.”