Coughlin Associates Report predicts grande future for M&E

By Meg Cater 

Peering into the future for five years, the new Coughlin Associates report on Digital Storage for Media & Entertainment includes survey data taken between 2009 and 2014 to make its projections. The report covers minute details about file size growth, storage capacities and revenue. In this blog, we’ll take a look at a subset of the Coughlin predictions written about in Forbes a few days ago that are most relevant to digital media file transfer.

  • The trend of higher image resolution and frame rates continuing (8K is already here) along with the use of multi-camera video isn’t exactly surprising, but it’s still somewhat shocking to think about how big the data is going to get. “Storage requirements explode” as a result according to the report, and ten years from now we could be looking at several hundred petabytes —  “approaching 1 Exabyte” — of total video captured for a single high-end digital production.
  • It’s also not surprising the see “clouds” in the report, expecting M&E storage in remote clouds “to play an increasing role in enabling collaborate workflows.” The use of cloud storage grew “37X between 2013 and 2014 (322 PB to 11,904 PB).”
  • Another interesting point related to file size and movement has to do with the expected 5.4 fold increase in required digital storage capacity used in M&E by 2019. Their surveys found that the “the greatest storage capacity demand in 2013 [was] for digital conversion and preservation as well as archiving of new content (96.5%).” Content distribution is next in line for sucking up storage, followed by acquisition and post-production.

While none of these are mind-blowing revelations, it’s always sobering to see the actual numbers we can soon expect to face in this age of exploding data. 

Advances in media technology are increasing the standard for video and the size of files throughout the industry, and media professionals need to be able to handle those large files, no matter how big they get.

But, most importantly, these technological advances are fulfilling the creative imaginings of media professionals like never before, so we can look forward to even better news coverage, movies and television in the future.



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