Media, Entertainment Sectors Piling Up Content in Clouds

Overall cloud storage for media and entertainment is expected to grow by a whopping multiple of 24 between 2014 and 2020.

Storage in remote clouds is playing a steadily increasing role in enabling collaborative workflows in the media and entertainment industries, according to a new study released Aug. 5 by storage research specialist Coughlin Associates.

Overall cloud storage for media and entertainment is expected to grow by a whopping multiple of 24 between 2014 and 2020 (763 PB to 18,224 PB). Cloud storage revenue in the two segments will exceed $2.1 billion by 2020, the report said.

Companies such as Pixar, DreamWorks, Sony Pictures and others are among the leaders in this part of the business. eWEEK has reported on this several times over the last five years.

The Coughlin report includes results from a 2015 survey of Digital Production Buzz, Hollywood Post Alliance and Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers members on their digital storage needs in these target segments.

These surveys were used to refine the current report analysis from previous editions and track industry trends. The report benefited from input from many experts in the industry, which along with economic analysis and industry publications and announcements, was used to create the data included in the report, Coughlin said.

Highlights from the 2015 report are as follows:

--Sixty-six percent of professional cameras use flash memory in 2015. It is now the dominant recording media used in these cameras. Magnetic tape and film are rapidly declining. Flash memory is also playing a more important role in content distribution and post-production.

--Storage media revenue is expected to increase about 23 percent from 2014 to 2020 ($469 million to $578 million).

--In 2014, archiving and preservation are estimated to have comprised 45 percent of the total storage revenue followed by post-production (26 percent), content distribution (25 percent), and content acquisition (4 percent).

--Between 2014 and 2020, Coughlin expects about a 4.9-times increase in the required digital storage capacity used in the entertainment industry and about a 3.7-times increase in storage capacity shipped per year (from 18,050 PB to 66,291 PB).

--In 2020, the projected revenue distribution is 37 percent archiving and preservation, 34 percent post-production, 26 percent content distribution, and 3 percent content acquisition.

--Over 60 Exabytes of new digital storage will be used for digital archiving and content conversion and preservation by 2020.

--In 2014, 48.6 percent of the total storage media capacity shipped for all the digital entertainment content segments was in HDDs. Digital tape comprised 40.1 percent, optical disks totaled 10.7 percent and flash was 0.6 percent.

--By 2020, tape will have been reduced to 30.9 percent; estimated HDDs shipped capacity is 58.8 percent, optical disc capacity is down to about 9.3 percent and flash capacity percentage is at 0.9 percent.

--The greatest storage capacity demand in 2014 was for digital conversion and preservation as well as archiving of new content (95.8 percent). Content distribution follows in size with acquisition and post-production using less storage.

--Between 2014 and 2020, media and entertainment storage revenue is expected to grow 2.3 times (from $4.8 billion to $10.8 billion).

--As image resolution and frame rates increase and as multi-camera video becomes more common, storage requirements explode.

Coughlin Associates' 11th annual report on digital storage in media and entertainment, the 2015 Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report, provides 223 pages of in-depth analysis of the role of digital storage in all aspects of professional media and entertainment. Projections out to 2020 of digital storage demand for content capture, post-production, content distribution and content archiving are provided in 60 tables and 104 figures.

This report and the accompanying PowerPoint presentation with report figures and tables provides the most definitive information on digital storage trends for the professional media and entertainment industry, Coughlin said.

The 2015 Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report is now available. To get a copy, send a completed order form in the report brochure here, call (408) 978-8184, or email

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...