Thanks tothe continuing DVD boom, turnover in Germany's home entertainment market hasbroken the Euro 1bn barrier after just nine months for the first time.

Accordingto the GfK market research institute, the sector posted a total turnover ofEuros 1.079bn on the sale and rental of DVDs and videos in the first ninemonths of 2004, up 10% on 2003's Euros 981m.

Theeconomic significance of this market was further underscored by the fact thatthis result exceeded the box-office takings registered so far this year - Euros659.5m - by 64%.

The GfKsurvey reported that the performance of the sell-through market in these firstthree quarters had beaten 2003's record - with a 13.5% increase from Euros759.1m to Euros 861.9m. DVDs made up 55.4m of the 64m units sold overall.

The numberof DVDs sold increased year-on-year by 46.5%. However, the turnover fromsell-through DVDs grew by "only" 25.9% (to Euros 781.4m) because manylabels were now releasing more back-catalogue titles at lower prices than newreleases. Consequently, the average price of a DVD has fallen to Euros 14.12.

Meanwhile,sales in videocassettes slipped by 41.8% to Euros 80.5m in the same period andthe number of units sold contracted by 36.2% to 8.7m.

At thesame time, the rental market continues to undergo a process of consolidation:turnover remained almost constant moving only slightly from 2003's Euros 221.9mto this year's Euros 217m. Despite "rival attractions" like theEuropean Football Championships, the Olympic Games and the growing problem ofillegal copying, there were only 1.7% fewer rental transactions for DVDs andvideos up to September (82.9m compared to 81.5m in 2003).

As withthe sell-through market, the DVD format is the dominating format in rentals aswell, with a market share of 86.7%. Moreover, this sector has received anadditional boost from new distribution forms, since more than 10% of rentaltransactions are now conducted via automat videotheques or by ordering throughthe Internet.