March 4, 2010
Digital Content in 2010
The results and reports from various organisations show that 2010 was a big year for digital media, both in creation and consumption.
According to ITU the 5 billion cellular subscriptions mark was reached by the end of 2010. The growth is slowing down in many markets that have reached over 100% penetration levels, but by the end of 2011 there will be probably more mobile subscriptions than there are people in the planet.
The Apple iPad growth was bigger than any Apple product earlier, total shipments during the first year were above 14 million units. As a benchmark, the original iPhone shipments during first 12 months were about 4 million units. The tablet devices were the big thing in CES 2011 and the launch of iPad2 speeds up the game.
In addition to tablets and phones, also eBook readers like Amazon Kindle have established solid place in the markets. In 2010 Amazon sold 115 eBooks to every 100 paperbacks and three times more than hardbacks. These growth numbers clearly indicate that the media consumption is moving towards pure digital in all media segments, not only in music, videos or games.
From the consumer created content digital imaging is the biggest area. The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) reports track record in digital camera sales in 2010. The total shipments of digital cameras was 121,5 million globally and the year on year growth was 13,2%. At the same time, various reports from photo printing industry shows decline in photo finishing demand and shifting consumer behaviour. More and more consumers are using social media for photo sharing instead of prints. The number of photos loaded monthly to Facebook was over 3 billion and to Flickr 130 million. A 2010 U.S. consumer study by InfoTrends revealed there is little understanding of the long term photo storage options. Respondents were asked how they plan to pass on photos to future generations, and the most popular choice was “photos burned onto CD/DVD,” with 37% of respondents choosing that option. Other popular options were “photos stored on external hard drive” at 16% and “as photos stored in Web albums” at 10%. Another 32% of respondents answered that they didn’t really know how they plan to pass photos on.
The digital media has created a major disruption in markets and the impact of the changes will be more evident during 2011. The combined sales of smart phone and tablets will most likely exceed the sales of desktop and laptop PCs during 2011, and increasingly impact the consumption of digital media. The amount of annually created digital content is rapidly growing, while the long term storage is not well thought of. The IDC “2010 Digital Universe” study claims there is growing gap between the amount of digital content created and the available digital storage. According the report in 2009 the gap was 35% and by 2014 it will be around 60%. While much of the created content does not require long term storage, like most voice messages, bad photos, receipts, etc, the amount of important data is also growing fast and demand for storage efficiency is rising fast.