US DVD-Video Household Penetration to Exceed 10% in 2000, InfoTech Forecasts

InfoTech reported today the total number of DVD-Video households worldwide reached 8.5 million in 1999, an increase of 247% over 1998. The Norwich, Vermont-based media forecasting firm also determined worldwide DVD-Video title sales and rental revenue in 1999 totaled over $2 billion.

The US market has been the strongest to date, accounting for one out of every two DVD-Video players sold and contributing nearly 70% of title revenue since the format’s launch. InfoTech projects DVD-Video penetration of US households will exceed 10% during 2000, fulfilling expectations that the format will be greater than previous consumer electronics product sales records.

Manufacturers and content providers are likely to intensify the focus on non-US markets in 2000. InfoTech forecasts that Japan, Canada, UK, Germany, and France will be the fastest growing DVD-Video content markets in 2000, together contributing $1.4 billion, or 23%, of the projected $6.1 billion in worldwide DVD-Video title revenue in 2000.

According to InfoTech Chairman and CEO, Julie B. Schwerin, “The competitiveness of all media businesses increasingly will depend on their ability to plan and execute timely format transitions, because cycles for both physical and network delivery formats are becoming shorter and more frequent. The success of the packaged video industry in the transition from VHS to DVD suggests an ability to sustain
revenues through to the era of broadband networked video delivery.“”

Positive indicators in the InfoTech model of the strength of the DVD-Video format include the release of over 7,500 DVD-Video titles to date worldwide with the rate of new releases steady, despite the breach of the CSS copy protection mechanism that occurred in the fourth quarter. Equally important factors are the rapid decline in player prices and the planned proliferation of supplemental playback
platforms such as DVD videogame consoles, DVD TV set-top boxes, and DVD-Recorders, in addition to DVD-ROM equipped PCs.

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