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French video publishers' 2005 revenue down 12%

For the first time since 1986, members of the French Video Publishers Association, SEV, have recorded a fall in turnover, from €1.32 billion in 2005 to €1.16 billion last year – a 12% drop in revenue to trade.

In terms of volume, though, the 2005 figures remain virtually uncharged (+0.35%) following a 23% increase in 2004. Last year, 124,5 million units were sold, the DVD format accounting for 121 million units and VHS a mere 3 million. Sony’s UMD format entered the market with 500,000 units.

The number of DVD households grew to nearly 4 million. It means that the number of DVD titles bought per DVD player owner dropped.

SEV attributes this stagnation to the fact that the DVD market has reached maturity. It also suggests that new titles entering the market were less crowd-pleasing than those in 2004, resulting in a growth in catalogue titles at a lower price point. SEV also notes the success of multidisc coffrets that bring down the average disc price.

The trade association also ventures to point out that piracy may have contributed substantially to the fall in turnover.

The share of feature-length movies remained virtually unchanged (74% versus 75% in 2004). The share of French films (excluding animation) keeps rising, from 18.2% in 2003 to 21.1% in 2004 and 21.8% last year.

Television series accounted for 10% of global sales last year compared to 7% in 2004. In this category, the share of French products doubled to reach nearly 20% of TV series on DVD.

On the rental front, SEV notes a slight increase to 5.6% of total turnover last year compared to 4.6% in 2004 when the VHS market collapsed.

Story filed 05.02.06

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