1. HD broadcast/media is going mainstream. HD video takes 4 times the space of SD video on PCs, DVRs and the web infrastructure.
2. Higher fidelity music downloads. Apple and others race to make their music “better”, which means more megabytes per song.
3. Change in the personal media consumption model from “play” to “record”. We used to listen to phone messages, watch TV and play music. Now we archive emails, collect videos online and build a music library.
4. The expanding digital class in Brazil, Russia, India and China. Most of the planet’s population is in countries where millions of digital consumers will be created even in tough times.
5. Microsoft Vista traction. Vista is finally becoming the dominant OS. It’s a catalyst for consumer and business content.
6. Growth in home backup storage. Mainstream consumers are finally fearing the “digital housefire” enough to back up their PCs to external storage and online services.
7. Increasing mobile content consumption. iPhone and its peers multiply mobile video consumption, creating even more video to be kept somewhere.
8. Photo de-compression. More people are keeping their photos in “raw” format, taking up magnitudes more space. And megapixels continue to grow.
9. Increase in video downloads and views. Hulu.com, iTunes and Amazon Unbox are increasing video consumption for the web massses, which drives consumer and infrastructure storage.
10. The monetization of content. The 99 Cent Song and the Ten Dollar Movie have us all equating our content with cash, driving new demand to store and protect it more like money. That creates more copies.
11. Shift from data centers to the storage cloud. More efficient business storage models drive an increase in business content.
12. Server virtualization. “Free” servers are causing a huge increase in data center storage to support them.
13. Video surveillance. A behind-the-scenes digital video generator that is challenging HD consumer content in size and growth.
14. Increased use of data reduction practices like de-duplication. It’s not intuitive, but there’s evidence that more efficient content results in more, not less, content.
15. Increased financial regulation. The technological result will be more data saved for longer periods, and not just by banks.
16. More companies complying with information regulation. SOX and HIPAA data regulations are finally getting legs, driving more companies to store more to comply.
Digital content is no longer a discretionary item. That’s just as true for consumers as for businesses. Content and the storage to keep It will grow through whatever economic disruption awaits us in the coming year or two.