Storage: Participants needed for 2022 M&E survey
February 7, 2022

Storage: Participants needed for 2022 M&E survey

ATASCADERO, CA — Since 2009, Coughlin Associates ( has been conducting a survey on digital storage use by media and entertainment professionals. This survey is intended for M&E 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, and digital archiving, as well as digital conversion and preservation. The results of the 2022 survey will be used to create the 2022 Coughlin Associates report on Digital Storage for Professional Media and Entertainment. 

Toparticipate in the survey, visit:  

The survey will stay open until June 1st, and a summary of its results will be made available to those who participate. 

The results from the 2021 Digital Storage in Media and Entertainment Survey revealed that participants were involved in a broad range of M&E projects, from film to TV to short features. The bulk of the participants were from North America and Europe, with some participants from Latin America and Asia.  

Figure 1. Percentage of recording media in professional video cameras

Figure 1 shows the percentage of various recording media used by the 2021 survey recipients in professional video cameras. Since the 2010 survey, Flash Memory has dominated as the storage media for professional video cameras.

Figure 2: DAS vs. shared storage and number of people in a post facility

Figure 2 shows that for the 2021 survey participants, there were a general increase in the use of shared network storage, such as storage area networks (SAN) or network attached storage (NAS), and a decrease in direct attached storage (DAS) storage as the number of people working in a post-production facility increases. 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 percent.

Figure 3: Percentage of Digital Long-Term Archives on Various Media

Figure 3 gives the percentage distribution of archive media used by the survey participants.  

Among the survey participants External HDDs were the most common archive media at 25 percent.  Digital Tape was the third most common storage media at 22 percent in 2021, following local storage networks at 23 percent. 11 percent used a private or public cloud for archiving in 2021.

Some other observations from the archive and preservation section of the survey:
- About 36.4 percent never update their digital archives in 2021
- About 67.4 percent used different storage for archiving and working storage in 2021 
- About 54.6 percent copied and replaced their digital long-term archives every 10 years or less in 2021 
- 47.7 percent said they would use a private or public cloud for archiving in 2021 

In 2018 Tom Coughlin presented nine years of results from the survey at the SMPTE Technical Conference, which was published in the SMPTE Technical Journal in 2019. You can view and download the results from the 2021 survey at: