Revenue for Media, Entertainment Storage May Double by 2016: Report

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-05-27 Print this article Print

Coughlin Associates projects the media storage market to grow from $3.8 billion to $6.4 billion in revenue, and from 11 exabytes (EB) to 62EB in capacity, by 2016.

As has been the case for more than a decade, the data storage business is so healthy that it literally has to work overtime to keep up with the ever-increasing demand from the world's content creators.

Those content creators are just about everybody you see. Anybody with a camera on a phone, tablet or other portal device is a video and/or sound content creator, and, if the content is going to be saved, it's going to be stored in a device or in the cloud on someone else's device.

That takes capacity on spinning disk drive, solid-state drive or tape, which is the name of this business game.

Hottest Sub-sector: Entertainment Media Storage

One of the hottest sub-sectors within this sizzling market is storage for professional creative media, such as feature films, documentaries, corporate videos, television shows and music videos. Higher-quality video, such as high-definition and super-high definition, which takes up more than double the space of regular video, is a major cause of this jump.

The news angle here is an annual report published this week by researcher Coughlin Associates, which projects the media storage market to virtually double in the next five years -- from $3.8 billion to $6.4 billion in revenue, and from 11 exabytes (EB) to 62EB in capacity.

That's right, exabytes -- a million trillion bytes.

"Digital storage requirements are exploding due to use of higher resolution and stereoscopic content in the media and entertainment industry," lead researcher Tom Coughlin wrote in the report. "Active archiving will drive increased use of HDD storage for 'archiving' applications supplementing tape for long-term archives."

So that's good news for the spinning disk drive industry, which has taken hits lately due to increasing sales of solid-state-driven connected tablet PCs.

Coughlin's report includes results from a late 2010 survey of mostly members of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) on their digital storage needs in these target segments, and compared the results to a similar 2009 survey. 

Other highlights from Coughlin's report:

  • Flash memory will find wider use in cameras and content distribution.
  • Between 2011 and 2016, expect the media and entertainment industry to see about a 7.7X increase in the required digital storage capacity and about a 5.6X growth in storage capacity shipments per year (from 11,248PB to 62,736PB).
  • About 57 percent of the total storage capacity will be used for content archiving and preservation in 2011. Coughlin believes this will increase to 60 percent of total capacity by 2016 due to more efficient and cost-effective conversion services, lower overall storage costs and a greater ROI on long tail content.
  • In 2011, Coughlin estimates that about 43.6 percent of the total storage media shipped for all the digital entertainment content segments was tape with about  39.1 percent HDD, 17.1 percent optical and 0.2 percent flash memory (mostly in digital cameras and some media distribution servers).
  • The single biggest application (by storage capacity) for digital storage in the next several years as well as one of the most challenging is the digital conversion of film, video tape and other analog formats.
The "2011 Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report" is available now. Coughlin himself will give some summary information from the report as part of his introduction to the 2011 Creative Storage Conference June 28, 2011, in Culver City, Calif.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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