DVD sales down 5.9% in France


PARIS -- French consumers spent a total of €1.66 billion ($2.16 billion) on videos and DVDs in 2006, according to figures from state-run film administrator CNC. DVD sales reached €1.65 billion in 2006, with a 99.7% market share compared with 98.5% in 2005. Sales of DVDs dropped 5.9% compared with 2005, and the VHS format has practically disappeared from the French market, the CNC said in a statement Thursday.

Less than 1 million (0.9 million) videotapes were sold in 2006, for a total revenue of €4.3 million ($5.6 million), an 84.2% plunge compared with 2005. French consumers bought less films on video and DVD in 2006 than the previous year (a decrease of 5.2%). About 135.9 million videos and DVDs were sold, of which the 134.9 million DVDs took up a 99.3% market share, up from 97.5% in 2005.

For the first time since the launch of the DVD format, the volume of DVDs sold dropped 3.5%. In 2006, the average price of a DVD was €12.26 ($15.98), a decrease of 2.4% from last year, which the CNC attributes to a ubiquity of box sets featuring three or more DVDs.

French films maintained a relatively stable market share (22.6%) compared with previous years, though sales of DVDs and videos of French films dropped to 13.1 million, down 4.6% from the 13.7 million sold in 2004.

American films also saw a dip in revenue, with 36.6 million videos and DVDs of U.S. films sold, a decrease of 11.5% from 2005.

U.S. films on video and DVD took in €645.3 million ($851.6), vs. €196.5 ($256.2) for French films.