Thanks to the phenomenal success of Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs), the video industry is enjoying a boom in Switzerland, according to a new survey.
The video market reported a turnover of SFr206 million in 2000, and is close to surpassing the amount of money the Swiss spend annually at the cinema box office (SFr209 million in 2000).
In a survey published by the Swiss Video Association, sales of DVDs have overtaken those of VHS videos for the first time. SFr84 million was spent on DVDs last year, which represents a 133 per cent increase since 1999. Sales of VHS format videos totalled SFr83 million in 2000.
But the survey also reveals that only eight per cent of Swiss homes are currently equipped with a DVD player. By contrast, sixty-five per cent of households own a video recorder.
The first films available in Switzerland on DVD format appeared in 1997, but the market didn't take off until the beginning of the following year.
The most popular films sold on DVD format in 2000 were the American blockbusters "Gladiator" and "The Sixth Sense". Action and suspense films are the biggest sellers, followed by drama and science fiction. Children's films are still more likely to be sold on traditional VHS format: Sixty-five per cent of the top 20 videos are cartoons, with the Disney film "Tarzan" leading the pack.
Swiss-made films, which have so far lagged behind in the race to convert to DVD, are set to make an inroad into the digital market during 2001.
The Swiss Authors' Rights Society for Audiovisual Works has announced it is setting aside SFr200,000 exclusively for Swiss productions.
swissinfo with agencies