DVD Rentals Surpass VHS Rentals For First Time

According to the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) last week, for the first time ever, more DVDs were rented than VHS videocassettes. According to VSDA VidTrac, 28.2 million DVDs were rented during the week ending 6/15/03, while 27.3 million VHS cassettes were rented.

"Home video is the most popular way for Americans to watch movies, rental is the most popular home video option, and now DVD is the most popular rental format," noted VSDA President Bo Andersen. "Video renters are attracted to the quality, convenience, and special features of DVD."

In the week ending March 16, 2003, the weekly revenue from DVD rentals exceeded VHS rental revenue for the first time, according to VSDA VidTrac. Since then, weekly DVD rental revenues have usually exceeded weekly VHS rental revenues, and in the week ending May 11, 2003, the year-to-date DVD rental revenues surpassed VHS rental revenues for the first time ever.

But the number of VHS units rented each week remained greater than the number of DVD units rented - until last week.

"This is a milestone in the history of home video," declared Andersen. "Since the advent of video rental 25 years ago, videocassettes have been the dominant format for video rental. Now, just over six years since its launch, DVD has supplanted that pioneering technology in the rental market, as it previously did in the sales market."