The decline of physical media and the rise of Cloud

Thu, 17/01/2013 - 09:52

This month has seen a number of very high profile high street retailers going into administration namely Blockbusters, HMV and Jessops. While there are a number of contributory factors hitting high street retailers hard including Internet shopping, the economy and squeezed budgets and supermarket competition, it's important to note that both Blockbusters and HMV are in the business of physical media. Why is this significant?  Put simply, physical media is itself on the decline favor of the cloud and digital downloads. Services such as Netflix, Lovefilm and Sky TV mean that Movies and TV can be downloaded or streamed either for free, on a subscription model or as a one off purchase with a digital copy often available from the Cloud. The same can be said of Music and Games. A recent statistic released by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) points out that despite austere times, UK digital entertainment sales grew 11.4% over 2011 to exceed £1bn for the first time ever. Physical media sales on the other hand fell 17.6%. The time to purchase (how long the buying process takes) is also usually significantly shorter digitally than physically and with the proliferation of consumer devices, consumers are able to access digital media on a wide variety of platforms with ease. The delicate nature of physical media and the temperamental nature of the devices that read it coupled with  much faster broadband speeds are also likely to be contributory factors. Thinking of entertainment media as just another form of data, it's easy to see why there are so many parallels with the backup of data to tape versus online via Redstor's Online Backup service. Tape is temperamental, easily compromised by heat, humidity and magnetic interference. The tape backup and restore process itself is also subject to human error. Tapes can be lost, stolen or forgotten meaning a required backup never takes place. They could also be in the possession of an employee or vendor unable to reach a recovery site. Assuming the required tape(s) can be identified, located, brought to the right place and aren't faulty, you're still going to have to wait a while (maybe hours or days) to get your data back. With Online Backup, restoring a file is as easy as a few clicks and it just works. The backup process is also automatic and therefore not subject to human error. Online Backup is usually cheaper too. Add to that, no upfront costs, the flexibility of a subscription model, endless scalability, much better data security and it's clear why Online Backup a winner. The parallels don't end with Online Backup either. Still carrying data around on CDs, DVDs or USB drives? Centrastor can make those physical media a thing of the past too.

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