Homevid sales rise; rentals drop

Italy’s homevideo market posted a 9.8% increase last year, with sales up to 399 billion lire (about $240 million), the homevideo association Univideo reported March 22.

Rental of pre-recorded tapes posted a major setback last year, with a 6.7% decrease to 89 billion lire, while sales showed a strong growth to 310 billion lire (up 15.8%) and 26 million tapes sold in the 12 months (up 30%).

Univideo president Francesco Fanti said, “The market has already entered a maturity phase” as more than 30 million out of 51 million Italians own a VCR.

Fanti also said that piracy is still a major problem as it controls 40% of the total national homevideo market, and the quality of pirated products is improving.

More than a quarter of VCR owners admit they buy pirated tapes and illegal activities are believed to have an annual turnover of 500 bil lire.

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