DVD sales are expanding rapidly in France according to report from local trade body Syndicat de l'Edition Video (SEV). The report found that DVD sales accounted for 16.8% ($83.6m) of French video distributors' sell-through revenues in 1999 compared to just 2.5% in 1998.
In total 4.5 millions DVDs were sold in France last year, bringing in revenues that surpass the video rental market. DVD player sales are also buoyant. According to German market research company GfK, France accounted for 32.7% of the 691,000 DVD players sold in nine European countries in 1999, ahead of Germany with 21.1%, the UK with 18.7% and Spain with 10.1%. There are now 350,000 DVD players in France - one million including DVD-rom players - and 800 titles were available at the end of the year.
With a consumer base of 18 millions VCRs, VHS sales still represent the lion's share (86.43%) of the French home video market. However SEV's statistics also indicate that, even with a significant growth of VCR sales in 1998 - because of the football World Cup - this sector of the sell-through market has decreased significantly both in terms of volume and receipts in 1999.
In terms of genres, although foreign films (mostly US titles) accounted for 48.7% of the market last year, French films' share has reached an all-time high of 15.4%. Animated fare accounted for 27.4% of the market and non-film product for 8.5%.