Media and Entertainment Digital Storage Survey Seeks 2023 Participants

Since 2009, Coughlin Associates, Inc. has run an annual survey of digital storage use by media and entertainment professionals.  This survey covers the use of digital storage in all aspects of media and entertainment workflows and information on participating in the 2023 survey is give at end of this article.  Here are some results on the use of digital storage throughout the M&E workflow from the prior published survey. 

Professional video cameras are undergoing rapid evolution, driven by higher resolution content as well as multi-camera content capture, including stereoscopic virtual reality content capture.  This is changing the types of storage used in these cameras.  As shown in the image below, flash memory dominates modern camera storage followed by hard disk drives as well as some optical, magnetic tape and even some film.



60% of the participants said that they used external storage devices to capture content from their cameras.  92% said they reuse their recording media. 

When asked about their use of network storage versus direct attached storage in post-production, there were a general increase in the use of shared network storage (such as SAN or NAS), and a decrease in DAS storage as the number of people working in a post-production facility increases as shown in the figure below.  The DAS storage in the larger facilities may be different than that used in smaller facilities and it looks like DAS use in larger facilities only declines to about 35%.

The surveys showed that about 50% of participants used cloud-based storage for editing and post-production work.  Many of these had over 1TB of cloud storage. 

The average hours on central content delivery systems was about 886 hours with 287 hours ingested monthly on average.  About 20% of the respondents on content delivery used flash memory in their edge servers. 

Close to 30% of survey participants has over 2,000 hours of content in a long-term archive.  About 16% added 1,000 hours or more to their archive annually.  About 9% had more than 2,000 hours of unconverted analog content and about 4% had over 5,000 hours of this content.  The average rate of conversion from analog to digital was about 4% annually.  The chart below shows the distribution of media used for digital archiving.

About 36.4% of survey participants never update their digital archives.  About 55% copied and replaced their digital long-term archives very 10 years or less.  48% said that they would use a public or private cloud for archiving.

These are results from the last published M&E digital storage survey.  We hope that Media and Entertainment professionals will participate in the 2023 survey. 




2023 Digital Storage in Media and Entertainment Survey 

The 2023 Survey Link is:     

This survey is intended for media and entertainment professionals and is designed to determine the industry’s digital storage needs and expectations for the capture and creation of raw content, editing and post production, distribution of content, digital archiving as well as digital conversion and preservation. The results of this survey will be used to create the 2023 Coughlin Associates report on Digital Storage for Professional Media and Entertainment. A summary of the survey results will be made available to survey participants. The survey will stay open until June 30, 2022.  For more information on Coughlin Associates go to    

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