Reports of the VCR’s demise may not be greatly exaggerated

According to figures from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), VCR sales dipped 8% in June compared to the same month last year. And sales for the second quarter were essentially flat.

Though hardly indicative of a major trend, the numbers take on greater significance when coupled with sales of DVD players, sales of which increased 109% the first six months of 2000 with 2.7 million player sold compared to 1.3 million in 1999.

The CEA says the recent VCR sales dip has more to do with a traditionally slow second quarter than cannibalization from DVD player sales. ‘We’re still looking at extraordinary VCR sales,’ says CEA spokesperson Ann Saybolt. ‘I don’t think the sales of DVD players are having a negative impact just yet.’

David Mercer, senior analyst with Boston’s Strategy Analytics, says, ‘We still think people will need VCRs for a few years to come, if only for timeshifting. But this application will eventually be eroded by DVD recorders, since it’s clear that pre-recorded video playback is something that will transfer to DVD.’

Strategy Analytics last week issued a report in which it predicts DVD will replace VHS as the standard home video format by 2005. The report predicts sales of “DVD devices” (players, PCs and game consoles like PlayStation2) will reach 21 million in the U.S. this year and 46 million worldwide.

Leave a comment