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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 15:14 GMT
DVD boom 'bucks European trend'
Growth in DVD spending is expected to continue
Booming DVD sales in Europe have made it the most popular form of packaged entertainment, beating video and games.

While the market for music, games and VHS has declined in recent years, DVD sales have rocketed by 20%, according to figures from Screen Digest.

DVD sales in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy are expected to show a further 10% growth in 2005.

But consumer spending on games and music is likely to reveal a downturn of 3% and 5% respectively.

Considerable growth

2004 was the first year in which DVD retail sales exceeded games and music.

In the five leading European markets that year, more than 5.2bn was spent on DVDs, 4.4bn on recorded music, 2.94bn on games and just 480m on video tapes.

More DVDs than ever were sold last year, but a fall in prices of up to 11% meant that the level of consumer spending fell overall.

Spending on DVD rentals across Europe is thought to have reached around 1.5m. Video cassettes will die out altogether within two years, research suggests.

Last year, three-quarters of consumer spending on DVDs was in the biggest five European markets, and the more affluent parts of the continent.

DVD players and recorders are owned by around 60% of people in western Europe, but considerable growth is expected in central and eastern Europe in the future.

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