chapter  2
The Economics of the Prerecorded Videocassette Industry
Pages 20

In the early 1980s, an executive at JVC (the major Japanese manufacturer of videocassette recorders that devised the VHS tape format) predicted that the penetration of VCRs would reach 70% in many countries. His rosy forecast was dismissed by many. Since then, sales of VCRs in the United States have grown nearly as fast as those of color television sets, from 2 million annual units in 1981 to over 12 million since 1986 (Video Week, 1983-1989). Today, VCRs can be found in over 65% of U.S. TV households,1 and a large percentage of consumers have already purchased their second generation VCR (National Association of Broadcasters, 1989; "Second VCR," 1987). At a time when the bloom has faded from consumer demand for cable and home satellites, consumers are increasingly attracted to a program delivery system, the VCR, whose features and availability of software put them in total control of their media consumption, no longer subject them to a "temporal tyranny" dictated by network and local station programming executives.