DVD rentals beat videotapes for the first time. Videotapes are on the way out as DVD's progress continues

By Brian Hiatt
Updated June 30, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Videocassettes’ 25-year-long reign over the home rental market is finally over. Last week, more consumers rented DVDs than videotapes for the very first time, according to the Video Software Dealers Association. More than 28 million DVDs were rented, compared to 27.3 million videotapes. ”This is a milestone in the history of home video,” VSDA president Bo Andersen said in a statement.

The change is rapid — last year, about 2 billion videocassettes were rented, compared to 915 million DVDs. But the videocassette isn’t going anywhere. About 50 million American homes still have a VCR but no DVD player. And they may find they can live without directors’ commentaries, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and the occasional digital skip.