U.S. manufacturers' shipments of blank videotapes increased 11 percent in 1994, with a 30 percent jump in unit sales of videotape pancakes. VHS pancakes, giant reels of tape used in high-speed duplication and by tape loaders to create blank tape cassettes, also saw a 17.2 percent climb in dollar volume, to $324.7 million.
However, dollar volume from videotape shipments rose by less than 1 percent from 1993, according to a recent report from the International Recording Media Association.
The report noted that shipments of molded, blank VHS cassettes rose by 30 percent to 431.1 million units, but dollar sales declined by 6.7 percent.
The same applies to shipments of blank audiocassettes, which rose 0.3 percent to 438.9 million units, with a dollar volume decline of 4.1 percent.
Shipments of VHS-C cassettes increased 25.7 percent and dollar sales climbed 21.3 percent. Unit shipments of S-VHS cassettes increased 24 percent, from 2.9 million in 1993 to 3.6 million in 1994, and dollars rose 17 percent to $24.3 million.
Charles Horn, IRMA executive director, said that because the association is not privy to pricing issues, he could not comment on why in some areas unit shipments increased while dollar sales fell. However, at the New York-based group's annual meeting in March, many members cited increased manufacturing costs and competitive market pressures.