ADOPTION of digital technology across the Media and Entertainment application markets has not just led to multiple ways of content distribution, but also boosted the demand for upgrades to digital equipments, including storage solutions. Frost & Sullivan defines M & E segment to include verticals such as media content producers and distributors, publishing houses, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), entertainment and gaming, mobile entertainment services and Internet services among others. Storage in these segments is used across diverse applications ranging from content acquisition to production, delivery and content archiving among others.
Escalating growth of digital content; rising popularity of video-on-demand (VOD) content; proliferation of high-definition (HD) videos; various other interactive applications; delivery of videos over web and mobile; multi-fold growth in user-generated content are some of the factors that have risen the adoption of digital equipment including storage solutions. Moreover, this has lead vendors to develop and design high-performance storage systems that can meet the challenges as well as the requirements of media and entertainment (M & E) companies.
Factors affecting the M & E storage market
The media and entertainment (M & E) industry has been a high potential market in terms of data growth and has historically shown a strong affinity towards storage solutions. These solutions are used across a diverse set of applications including content acquisition, production, distribution, and archiving among others.
Factors such as proliferation in the amount of digital content; emerging models of distribution by content owners and distributors; introduction of newer formats; technological advancements in video storage and server solutions; the easing of bandwidth restrictions; and increasing broadband access penetration have not only enhanced the digital content transport mechanism, but at the same time have provided flexibility and ease to the consumers for accessing data. These trends in turn have led to the increasing the demand for disk-based storage systems.
Among the various application verticals within the M & E segment, broadcast and post-production are more traditional ones for storage vendors. Various government mandates to transition to digital television, emergence of high-definition (HD) content and the need to increase channel offerings by broadcasters have been driving the adoption of digital equipment including storage systems that can not only store such vast files but also provide fast retrieval. Acceptance of high-resolution digital images (2K and 4K), evolution of three-dimensional (3D) technology for films and animated movies are further expected to boost the demand for high capacity and efficient storage solutions among postproduction houses.
Besides experiencing a tremendous growth in the above mentioned application verticals, disk storage solutions are being increasingly used worldwide by multi-service operators (MSOs) as well. Most MSOs existing in the market today compete strongly on the basis of applications which include video-on-demand (VOD), timeshifted television, networked personal video recorders (NPVRs) and other interactive and personalized services. These have not only changed the television viewing patterns of consumers but at the same time have led to an increased demand of faster and reliable digital equipment including storage solutions. As MSOs worldwide either increase their content libraries or continue to provide support for above mentioned services in order to retain subscribers and minimize customer churn, the amount of storage required by them is expected to increase. Moreover,enhancement in bandwidth capacity has motivated many broadcasters and service providers to offer content via web or mobile, which