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DVD Beats VCRs

By RD Heldenfels Published: December 19, 2006

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Nielsen Media Research released findings today from its 3rd Quarter Home Technology Report which show that more U.S. households now own DVD players (81.2% of all households) than VCRs (79.2% of households).   Findings from this quarterly study also show ownership of most media technology trending up from previous years, which could continue to climb as the upcoming Christmas season approaches.   


As of third quarter 2006, DVD penetration in the U.S. is up 6% from the previous year and continues to grow, while VCR penetration has started a decline.   In 1999 when Nielsen first started tracking DVD ownership in its Home Tech Report, DVD penetration was only 6.7% and was dwarfed by VCR ownership at 88.6%. 


Nielsen’s latest report also found that DVD households now rent DVDs about twice per month, compared to VCR homes renting VHS tapes only about once per month.  The frequency with which households rent video tapes has leveled off during the past six months.


“This study shows the culmination of a long battle for share of consumers,” said Paul Lindstrom, senior vice president of custom research for Nielsen Media Research.  “Nielsen clients have used information from our Home Tech Report for the past decade to trend the changes in penetration and report use of new devices as they infiltrate the marketplace, and we now see that the popularity of DVDs has finally surpassed that of VCRs.”

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