October was a healthy, if untypical, month for video hardware sales to
dealers, according to figures just issued by CEMA. They show VCR decks,
DVD players all hitting new all-time monthly highs and camcorders setting a
new high for this year — feats normally achieved in September — while
sales set a new high for the month and cumulative sales of DVD players
cracked through the 1 million level.
Additionally, the seasonally adjusted annual selling rates for all key video
products picked up from a generally sluggish September. Direct-view color
month’s only disappointment, as unit sales declined for the third
consecutive month, coming in at 2.26 million, down 4.3% from the same month
last year. But
through the first 10 months sales were still up 4.5%, totalling 18.1
Color TV’s seasonally adjusted selling rate in October was 21.2 million and
came in below the 11-month average of 22.6 million. TV/VCR sales jumped
to 389,700, erasing the previous record monthly high of 347,800 set in
September 1996. Ten-month sales of 2.57 million were up 33.8%. The October
annualized selling rate was a record 3.6 million and lifted the 10-month
running rate to 3.3 million.
Projection TV sales hit an October high 114,500 and were up 7.8%. Through
the first 10 months sales were up 15.5% to 838,000. But projection’s October
selling rate of 989,000, while improving on September, was short of the
10-month rate of 1.1 million.
Camcorder sales joined color in an October decline, But while sales dipped
7.7%, the 422,500 total was the monthly high for this year. That put
at 3.24 million, up 4.2%. The October camcorder selling rate was a healthy
3.9 million, and just short of the 4 million average rate for the first 10
It took a record month to do it, but the 189.1% jump in October DVD player
sales to 163,000 was more than enough to lift cumulative sales to dealers
one million market. Through the first 10 months, sales were up 167% to
718,000. And that, added to the 349,500, puts the historic total at just
under 1.07 million.
Using the history of VCRs as a guide, DVD sales were at a record annualized
rate of 1.5 million in October and at 892,000 for the first 10 months. Total
sales of a million DVD players isn’t exactly out of reach, but coming up
with the needed monthly average of 140,000 sales in each of the year’s last
two months is
still a possibility.