DVD CAR PLAYERS COMING ON STRONG

DVD players in cars are becoming a major factor in the video market.Retailers and suppliers told SN they expect the growth to continue. They said growth will benefit the children's video category in particular."We're just at the beginning of the trend right now," said Carl Day, owner, Day's Market Place, Heber City, Utah. "Every car is going to have a video system integrated into it from the factory.

DVD players in cars are becoming a major factor in the video market.

Retailers and suppliers told SN they expect the growth to continue. They said growth will benefit the children's video category in particular.

"We're just at the beginning of the trend right now," said Carl Day, owner, Day's Market Place, Heber City, Utah. "Every car is going to have a video system integrated into it from the factory. It's going to help us keep our kids entertained while we travel."

Day installs DVD players on the side. "I don't even advertise that I install or sell the equipment -- it's all word of mouth -- and we probably put in 20 systems last summer," he stated.

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, Los Angeles, expects there to be 9 million car players installed by the end of the year, said Amy Jo Donner, executive director. "This is definitely a growing segment," she observed.

In addition to supplying supermarkets with rental and sell-through programs, Greg Rediske, president, Video Management Co., Tacoma, Wash., also services truck stops. "A lot of truck drivers have equipped their trucks with DVD players," he said.

It is projected that by the end of the year, 16% to 18% of all new cars will come equipped with DVD players, noted Scott Guthrie, vice president, sales and channel development, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Burbank, Calif. These players are in addition to the units that are part of new game systems, and it is the mom of the family -- the core supermarket customer -- who is picking up software for these platforms, Guthrie said.

"There's mobile DVD, there's computer-based DVD, [and] there's X-box and PlayStation 2. There's a lot of different ways to enjoy a DVD," remarked Steven Feldstein, senior vice president, marketing communications, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Century City, Calif.

"I think it's great for us because the reason you want it is to keep people happy in the back so you can concentrate on driving," said Debbie Ries, senior vice president, sales, HIT Entertainment, Allen, Texas.

"The thought of DVD players in your computer, in your car -- everyplace -- is absolutely amazing," marveled Ted Green, chief executive officer, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Troy, Mich. "The more DVD players you have, the more product people need to play on them. So from the supermarket point of view, as well as from the general market point of view, it's great."