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Wednesday, 24 April, 2002, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
US DVD rentals shoot up
DVD player
There is no sign of a let-up in the onward march of DVD
DVD rentals have rocketed in the US as the format continues to replace videotapes in millions of homes.

Rentals for the first three months of 2002 year were almost double those of the first quarter of last year, according to the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA).

Quarterly rentals for the 2002 hit a record high of $634m (438m) as the format continued to grow in popularity.

VHS rentals dropped $400m (276m), or 22.3%, from last year's first-quarter figure of $1.9bn (1.3bn), the VDSA said.

VHS cassettes
VHS changed the way we watch films - but DVD is catching up

However, rentals of VHS films continued to overshadow those of DVDs, taking $1.5bn (1.03bn).

The overall result was a 3.9% drop in combined video and DVD rentals, from $2.2bn (1.5bn) in the first quarter of 2001 to $2.1bn (1.45bn) this year.

The association, which tracks rentals by studying actual transactions, attributed the decline to a continued sluggish economy.

Despite the overall downturn in rentals, the first quarter marked another record for the DVD format, which was only introduced five years ago.

The format's previous rental record was set in the last quarter of 2001, when it clocked up a total of $456m (315m).

One in every four US households now owns a DVD console, according to the association.

The number of films sold on DVD in the UK more than doubled in 2001, to more than 37 million, the British Video Association reported earlier this year.

See also:

21 Feb 02 | New Media
Next generation DVD born
04 Jan 02 | New Media
DVD sales double in 2001
20 Dec 01 | New Media
DVD player sales rocket
30 Jan 02 | New Media
VHS makes comeback bid
08 Jan 02 | New Media
DVD sales ogre well for Shrek
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