DVD Players Surpass VCRs; PC-73%, Cell Phone- 76% Penetration: Nielsen

More U.S. households now own DVD players (81.2% of all households) than VCRs (79.2% of households), according to the Nielsen Media Research's 3rd Quarter Home Technology Report released today. Findings from this quarterly study also show ownership of most media technology trending up from previous years.

As of third quarter 2006, DVD penetration in the U.S. is up 6% from the previous year and continues to grow, while VCR penetration has started a decline. 

  • In 1999 when Nielsen first started tracking DVD ownership in its Home Tech Report, DVD penetration was only 6.7% and was dwarfed by VCR ownership at 88.6%.
  • DVD households now rent DVDs about twice per month, compared to VCR homes renting VHS tapes only about once per month. 
  • The frequency with which households rent video tapes has leveled off during the past six months.

More topline findings from Nielsen's Q3 Home Tech study: 


  • 73.4% of U.S. homes currently have a computer in the household, and homes with children and teens are more likely to have a home computer. 
  • Homes with an income over $60K are 50% more likely to own a home computer than homes with an income below $60K.


  • 95.4% of consumers with Internet access go online at least once a week, 
  • 37.3% of Internet users go online more than once a day. 
  • 78.2% of online users have made purchases over the Internet. 
  • 46.8% of online users (ages 12+) have used the Internet to download and play music from the Internet.

MP3 Players

  • 26.7% of U.S. homes own or rent an MP3 player. 
  • Households with the presence of children 12-17 years of age are nearly 2 ½ times more likely to own or rent an MP3 player than compared to the Total U.S. 
  • The percentage of homes owning an MP3 player has risen by 149.5% since 3rd Quarter 2003.


  • 16.4% of U.S. homes own a PDA, and since 3rd quarter 2003, PDA ownership has increased by 4.5%. 
  • Not surprisingly, higher income homes are more than four times as likely as lower income homes to own a PDA.

Nielsen's Home Technology Report is a primary research survey conducted by phone with 1,253 randomly selected American homes four times per year. 

Source: Nielsen's Home Technology Report


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