The 2018 Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report, from Coughlin Associates, provides 254 pages of in-depth analysis of the role of digital storage in all aspects of professional media and entertainment.  Projections out to 2023 for digital storage demand in content capture, post-production, content distribution and content archiving are provided in 65 tables and 125 figures.  

The fourteenth annual report includes results from a 2018 survey of Digital Production Buzz, EBU, HPA and SMPTE members on their digital storage needs in these target segments (comparing the results to similar 2009, 2010 and 2012-2018 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 including end users and storage suppliers, which along with economic analysis and industry publications and announcements, was used to create the data including in the report.  We have made modifications to earlier reports to better model current market conditions.  As a result of changes in the economics of storage devices higher performance solid-state storage will play a bigger role in the future.  The cloud and hybrid storage including the cloud will be a bigger part of the media and entertainment storage market going forward. 

Some highlights from the report:

  • Creation, Distribution & Conversion of video content creates a huge demand driver for storage device and systems manufacturers
  • As image resolution increases and as stereoscopic VR video becomes more common, storage requirements explode
  • The development of 4K TV and other high-resolution venues in the home and in mobile devices will drive the demand for digital content (especially enabled by high HEVC (H.265) compression.
  • HDD areal density increases are slower but flash memory growth has increased.  This will cause more applications to use flash memory
  • 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
  • Optical storage developments for higher capacity write-once Blu-ray optical cartridges may create higher capacity discs and this may slow the reduction in optical disc archiving 
  • Flash memory dominates cameras and is finding wider use in post production and content distribution systems
  • From 2017 to 2023 entertainment and media digital storage TAM (without archiving and preservation) will increase by about 1.9X from $4.5 B to $8.5 B
  • The growth in storage capacities will result in a total media and entertainment storage revenue growth of about 1.9 X between 2017 and 2023 (from $6.9 B to $12.8 B)
  • Overall annual storage capacity demand for non-archival applications is expected to increase over the period from 2017 to 2023 by 5.2X from 11.7 EB to 60.3 EB
  • Between 2017 and 2023 we expect about a 3.5 X increase in the required digital storage capacity used in the entertainment industry and about a 3.7 X increase in storage capacity shipped per year (from 51.9 EB to 191.9 EB
  • In 2017 archiving and preservation is estimated to have been 35% of total storage revenue followed by content distribution (33%), post-production (27%) and content acquisition (5%)
  •  By 2023 we expect about 55% of archived content to be in near-line and object storage, up from 45% in 2017 
  •  In 2017 we estimate that 71% of the total storage media capacity shipped for all the digital entertainment content segments was in HDDs with digital tape at 22.7%, 4.3% optical discs and flash at 2.0%
  • Media revenue is expected to increase about 1.6 X from 2017 to 2023 ($1.8B to $2.9 B).
  • 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
  • Over 131 Exabytes of new digital storage will be used for digital archiving and content conversion and preservation by 2023
  • Storage in remote “clouds” is playing an important role in enabling collaborative workflows and in archiving
  • Overall cloud storage capacity for media and entertainment is expected to grow about 13.3X between 2017 and 2023 (5.1 EB to 68.2 EB)
  • Overall object storage capacity for media and entertainment is expected to grow about 4.9 X between 2017 and 2023 (10.4 EB to 51.6 EB)
  • Cloud storage revenue will be about $2.7 B by 2023
  • By our estimates, professional media and entertainment storage capacity represents about 4.5% of total shipped storage capacity in 2017.  Professional media and entertainment uses about 13% of all tape capacity shipments, 8% of all hard disk drive shipments and 2% of all flash memory shipments in 2017.

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 2018 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