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Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment 2012 Report Released

The report includes results from a 2012 survey of mostly SMPTE members on their digital storage needs in these target segments

By Tom Coughlin | July 09, 2012

The eighth annual report from Coughlin Associates on digital storage in media and entertainment, 2012 Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report, provides 166 pages of in-depth analysis of the role of digital storage in all aspects of professional media and entertainment. Projections out to 2017 of digital storage demand for content capture, post-production, content distribution and content archiving are provided in 59 tables and 83 figures.

The report includes results from a 2012 survey of mostly SMPTE members on their digital storage needs in these target segments (comparing the results to similar 2009 and 2010 surveys). 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 including in the report. Some highlights from the report:

  • As image resolution increases and as stereoscopic video becomes more common, storage requirements explode

  • The development of HD TV and other high resolution venues in the home and in mobile devices will drive the demand for digital content

  • Activity to create capture and display devices for 8K X 4K content is occurring with planned implementation in common media systems by the next decade

  • Active archiving will drive increased use of HDD storage for archiving applications supplementing tape for long term archives

  • Flash memory appears to be reaching tipping point in professional video cameras with survey results showing about 37% utilization in 2012 (growing from 2009 and 2010 survey results). Flash memory is also playing a role in content distribution and post production.

  • Between 2012 and 2017 we expect about a 5.6 X increase in the required digital storage capacity used in the entertainment industry and about a four-fold increase in storage capacity shipped per year (from 22,425 PB to 87,152 PB).

  • Total media and entertainment storage revenue will grow more than 1.4 X between 2012 and 2017 (from $5.6 B to $7.8 B)

  • The greatest storage capacity demand in 2012 was for digital conversion and preservation as well as archiving of new content (about 98%). Content distribution follows in size with acquisition and post-production using less storage.

  • In 2012 we estimate that about 43% of the total storage media capacity shipped for all the digital entertainment content segments was digital tape with about 41% HDDs, 16% optical discs and flash 0.2% (mostly in digital cameras and some media distribution systems). By 2017 tape will be reduced to 38%, HDDs to 59%, optical discs to about 3% and flash memory will have increased to 0.3%.

  • Total revenue for storage media and devices used in media and entertainment applications will increase about 1.3 X from 2012 to 2017 ($774 M to $974 M).

  • Storage in remote clouds is beginning to play an important role in enabling collaborative workflows.

  • Silver halide film as a content distribution media will vanish before the end of the decade.


Purchase of the report and the accompanying power point presentation with report figures and tables provides the most definitive information on digital storage trends for the professional media and entertainment industry.

The 2012 Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report is now available from Coughlin Associates. To get a copy send a completed order form in the report brochure at http://www.tomcoughlin.com/techpapers.htm or call us at 408-978-8184 or email us at tom(at)tomcoughlin.com
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