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|RCA Press Release for May 4, 1982 No. 2|
Despite the recession, the average video disc player owner is buying almost three times as many video disc albums as originally forecast, an RCA consumer survey showed today.
"We are experiencing an accelerating demand for video discs and our distributor-to-dealer shipments are running at the highest levels since the RCA video disc system was introduced in March 1981," according to Thomas G. Kuhn, Division Vice President, RCA "SelectaVision" VideoDiscs.
He noted that those who have owned their video disc player for 12 months have accumulated an average of more than 32 disc albums, compared with RCA's original projection of 10 to 12 albums in the first year of ownership.
"The most interesting statistic is the number of albums that new player owners are buying. Those who own their players for four months or less already have bought an average of 14.5 albums -the highest for this category since RCA began tracking consumer purchases in March 1981," Mr. Kuhn said.
"Consumers are buying discs in record numbers," he added. "Some retailers, such as Erol's in Washington, D. C., Lechmere's in Boston and Crazy Eddie's in New York, report that they have sold almost as many discs in the first three months of 1982 as in all of 1981, and the pace seems to be quickening despite the adverse economy."
Noting that RCA and CBS are both producing "CED" video discs, Mr. Kuhn said, "It now looks as though there may be approximately 450 titles available to consumers by the end of this year."
Mr. Kuhn said video disc sales reflected a growing consumer interest in home entertainment. "The video disc permits consumers to enjoy their favorite programs and stars in the comfort and security of their own homes, and now the system is available at prices they can afford."
He noted that RCA will bring "On Golden Pond" to market on the disc in May at approximately $28, while the same motion picture on prerecorded video cassette has a list price of about $80. This film, starring Henry and Jane Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, won three Academy awards and is one of the most highly acclaimed films of the year.
In addition to movies, the RCA video disc catalog includes children's programs, science fiction, comedy, music, the best of television, drama and the performing arts, sports and programs of special interest.
Mr. Kuhn also noted that Miss Piggy, the star of "The Muppet Movie", hogged the spotlight as the top box office draw in the first full year of the RCA video disc system.
In a survey of almost 1,200 video disc owners, "The Muppet Movie" was the most popular video disc with consumers. It was followed by "Airplane!", "Star Trek -- The Motion Picture", "The Black Stallion" and "M*A*S*H."
In achieving superstar status on the video disc, Miss Piggy beat out such stars as Captain Kirk, James Bond, Mickey Rooney, Robert Redford, John Travolta and The Godfather.
A second Miss Piggy movie, "The Great Muppet Caper", ranked 31st on the popularity list.
Mr. Kuhn said "The Muppet Movie" also was one of ten RCA video discs which recently received a Gold Video Award from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). To qualify for a Gold Award, a video disc must have certified sales of at least 25,000 units and $1 million retail list value.
"Since 'The Muppet Movie' has a suggested retail price of $19.98, we had to ship more than 50,000 units to meet the RIAA's criteria," Mr. Kuhn said.
The ten top selling video discs through the first 12 months were:
1. The Muppet Movie
3. Star Trek -- The Motion Picture
4. The Black Stallion
6. The Godfather
7. Heaven Can Wait
7. Casablanca (ED. NOTE: DUPLICATE NO. 7 ON OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE)
9. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
10. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid