RETAILERS URGED TO MAKE ROOM FOR DVD GROWTH

LOS ANGELES -- Retailers need to figure the explosive growth of DVD into their video-merchandising plans.For example, Warner Home Video, Burbank, Calif., has raised its estimate of installed DVD players by the end of the year by 21% -- from 3.3 million to 4 million. The studio projects the installed base to go up to 6.9 million by the end of 2000, to 11 million by 2001 and 15.2 million by 2002. These

LOS ANGELES -- Retailers need to figure the explosive growth of DVD into their video-merchandising plans.

For example, Warner Home Video, Burbank, Calif., has raised its estimate of installed DVD players by the end of the year by 21% -- from 3.3 million to 4 million. The studio projects the installed base to go up to 6.9 million by the end of 2000, to 11 million by 2001 and 15.2 million by 2002. These numbers are for dedicated DVD players only. Another 16 million DVD-ROM units are expected to be installed by the end of the year, and 100 million DVD-ROM units by 2003.

"When you add all the DVD-ROM drives on laptop and desktop computers, there are a whole lot of people who now have the desire for DVD product," said Dan Miron, Warner's vice president for sell-through product sales, speaking during the fourth annual supermarket breakfast at the convention of the Video Software Dealers Association, Encino, Calif., during National Video Week in Los Angeles, July 8 to 10.

Also during the show, the DVD Video Group, Los Angeles, updated its numbers, which confirmed the rapid growth of the new video format. The group said that more than 1.1 million DVD players were shipped during the first half of the year, quoting figures from the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association, Arlington, Va. The statistics released by the DVD Video Group echoed Warner's year-end installed-base estimate, projecting 3.5 million to 4 million hardware units in homes.

In software, the group said more than 25 million discs have been shipped to retail to date in 1999, about the same number as in all of 1998. Warner projected that DVD software sales will reach $1.5 billion this year, $2.9 billion next year, $4.8 billion in 2001 and $6.7 billion in 2002.