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RIP: VCR

When was the last time you rented a videocassette from the local video rental shop? According to a recent Nielsen study, it’s been a while. As recently as 1999 VCRs and the VHS format dominated the market with nearly 90 percent of the market share, while only about 7 percent owned a DVD player. Nielsen’s Q3 study indicates 81 percent of households now own a DVD player, while 79 percent own a VHS. The study also revealed that household rental of VHS cassettes is only about one per month compared to DVD rentals of about 2 per month. What does this mean for the video consumer? Much like when cassette tape gave way to compact disc, as DVD gradually gains market share over VHS, the VCR cassettes will be produced less and less until commercial VHS cassettes are no longer produced. VHS, like beta, will likely continue to be used in commercial video production.

While not the most staggering news in the recent Nielsen report, the study also found the following:

Computers: Over 70% of households own a computer. The majority of which belong to households with children and teens.

Internet: 95% of consumers with Internet access go online at least once a week. Almost 40% of all Internet users go online more than once a day. Nearly 80% of all online users have made purchases through the Internet. Just under 50% of online users over the age of 12 use the Internet to download and play music from the Internet.

MP3 Players: The total percentage of homes with an MP3 player has exploded since 3rd Quarter 2003, rising nearly 150%. Of the households polled those with children between the ages of 12 and 17 were nearly 2.5 times more likely to own MP3 players.

PDA: Just over 16% of homes own a PDA, the majority of which can be found in higher income homes that are 4 times more likely to own a PDA.

A breakdown of the study can be seen in the graph below provided by Ken Radio:

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