The use of digital media is now broadly embraced by the general U.S. population. 96% of survey participants store at least some of their photos, music, commercial and home videos digitally. 52% store some media in all four categories.
Of the people saying they have media in the specified category, the estimated median number of items they store is as follows:
Home Video 652 438 316 66 55 52 44
We expect there will be a 26% increase in the number of photos stored by digital photogs over the next year. Those with downloaded music will boost song ownership by 29%. People with home videos will store 15% more, and digital movie owners will increase the number of titles owned by 17%.
The most popular device consumers use to store media is the PC. The synergistic relationship that has evolved between PCs and photos and music make it a logical storage medium. External hard drives are the second most popular. The smartphone plays the third most important role in media storage. Since it now functions as both photo and video camera for many, it is to be expect that the content is stored there also.
Aside from the primacy of the PC, external hard drive and smartphone; we observe the following:
Cloud storage is important for music. 16% of respondents report using it for their songs.
Social media is important for the storage of both home video (14%) and photos (27%)
The tablet is generally not viewed as a media storage device
50% are unaware of network attached storage as a viable option
Awareness of cloud services to store files is much higher than of NAS. 90% say they have heard of or use cloud storage. 54% of survey participants have heard of or use NAS.
As you would expect, 18-29 year olds have more fully embraced the transition to digital media than the rest of us. For example, 96% of them claim to have downloaded songs, compared to an average of 76% across all age groups. The 18-29 year olds also think they will need more storage than the average population. 27% think they will need a lot more storage for their music versus 17% of the general population.
Which mechanisms are favored by the young to store their media stuff? Generally, as with other age groups, the PC is used the most, and NAS used the least. However, the young tend to use tablets significantly less than the general population, and smartphones and social media significantly more.
Consumers remain vulnerable to losing their personal digital media. Movies and home videos in particular are only stored on a single device.