For Immediate Release

CONTACT:           Tom Coughlin                                      

Coughlin Associates                          

(408) 202-5098                                                                                       


2015 Digital Storage for Media and Entertainment Report Released


Comprehensive digital storage analysis and projections


San Jose, CA—August 3, 2015—The eleventh annual report from Coughlin Associates 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.   


The report includes results from a 2015 survey of Digital Production Buzz, HPA and SMPTE members on their digital storage needs in these target segments (comparing the results to similar 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 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 and frame rates increases and as multi-camera video becomes more common, storage requirements explode.

·        Several petabytes of storage may be required for a complete stereoscopic digital movie project at 4K resolution, and there is some production work as high as 8K.  By the next decade total video captured for a high end digital production could be hundreds of PB, approaching 1 Exabyte

·        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.

·        There is ongoing activity to create capture and display devices for 8K X 4K content, with planned implementation in consumer media systems by the next decade

·        Survey results show that 66% 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.

·        M&E Storage in remote “clouds” is playing an increasing role in enabling collaborative workflows.  Overall cloud storage for media and entertainment is expected to grow 24 X between 2014 and 2020 (763 PB to 18,224 PB).  Cloud storage revenue will exceed $2.1B by 2020

·        Between 2014 and 2020 we expect about a 4.9 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 18,050 PB to 66,291 PB).     

·        The greatest storage capacity demand in 2014 is for digital conversion and preservation as well as archiving of new content (95.8%).   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 X (from $4.8 B to $10.8 B).  

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

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

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

·        The slow down in areal density growth for HDDs will also slow the historical $/GB decline through the projection period.

·        Recent developments for Blu-ray optical cartridges are expected to slow and reverse the decline in optical archive storage

·        By 2020 we expect 67% of archived content to be in near-line storage, up from 48% in 2014. 

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

·        In 2014 we estimate that 48.6% of the total storage media capacity shipped for all the digital entertainment content segments was in HDDs with digital tape at 40.1%, 10.7% optical discs and flash at 0.6%. 

·        By 2020 tape has been reduced to 30.9%, HDDs shipped capacity is 58.8%, optical disc capacity is down to about 9.3% and flash capacity percentage is at 0.9%. 

·        Storage media revenue is expected to increase about 23% from 2014 to 2020 ($469 M to $578 M).

·        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 2015 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 or call us at 408-202-5098 or email us at