Turnover from sell-through and rental videos and DVDsreached a new record high in the first three months of this year, according tofigures compiled by GfK Panel Services Consumer Research for the video tradeassociation BVV.

GfK's statistics showed revenues in the German homeentertainment market increasing by 12.8% from the previous record result ofEuros 361.5m in 2004 to Euros 407.8m in the first three months of 2005.

Turnover in sell-throughDVDs helped drive the overall market. DVD sales rose year-on-year by 21.2% toEuros 303m with the number of units sold climbing by 31.2% to 23.9m.

The DVD format now has a 91.3% market share of all unitssold in the home entertainment market.

Meanwhile, the growing demand for additional service offerssuch as Internet-based and automat videotheques has boosted the rental sector:around every eighth rental transaction (11.9%) in the first three months of2005 was via the Internet (7.1%) or an automat videotheque (4.8%), whichtranslated into approximately 4m rental transactions outside of the traditionaloutlets.

GfK researchers found that, as with the sell-through sector,the DVD format has now become the market norm in the rental market with some97% of transactions and business being generated with DVDs.

Business in the first three months also showed thepopularity of local titles with the video stores' clientele: last year's No 1.box-office hit Dreamship Surprise - Period 1 headed both the sell-through and rental charts, with OliverHirschbiegel's Oscar-nominated Downfall (Der Untergang) the third most popular sell-through title (afterWolfgang Petersen's Troy). TheVillage and Man On Fire were the second and third most frequently rentedtitles between January and March.