New Digital Media Devices Will Drive Demand for Network-Attached Storage

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New research from The Diffusion Group suggests that network-attached storage will be popular in media-sharing home networks.

As the variety and quantity of digital media content stored on the home PC expands, and as home networks optimized for media sharing become more commonplace, consumers will seek a more secure and convenient way to store and access this content. According to Consumer Interest in Home Network-Attached Storage Solutions, the latest report from The Diffusion Group, a research consultancy, almost 30% of current home network owners and 39% of those likely to purchase a home network are interested in acquiring a network-attached storage (or NAS) solution.

“The market for network-attached storage solutions for the home is entirely dependent upon home network adoption in general, a fact which has delayed the introduction of NAS solutions,” says Dale Gilliam, III, a research analyst with The Diffusion Group. “However, with almost 18 million U.S. households already using a home network, and another 7 million expected to deploy a home network in 2005, the total available market for NAS solutions will approach 25 million U.S. households by next year.”

Home networks have been, to this point, used primarily to share files between PCs, share peripherals, or share a single Internet connection, a usage scenario that does not obviously generate demand for network attached storage solutions. However, the next generation of home networking, what Gilliam refers to as Home Networking 2.0, will include a myriad of media devices such as televisions, stereos, and DVD players. According to TDG’s new study, more than 25% of current network owners are interested in connecting a TV or stereo to their home network in the next 12 months. “And regarding networked storage, the content consumers would like to store mirrors this trend,” says Gilliam. “When asked what type of content they wanted to store on the solution, the majority of consumers listed some form of digital media, including photos, movies, and music.”

The study also revealed some interesting differences regarding NAS usage between current network owners and “network intenders” – those Internet households interested in purchasing a home network in the next 12 months. Almost one-half of network owners said that the primary content to be stored on the NAS solution would be “important data,” compared with only one-fourth of network intenders. Conversely, almost three-fourths of network intenders would primarily store digital media content, compared to approximately one half of network owners.

TDG’s new report, "Consumer Interest in Network-Attached Storage Solutions," further details the position of NAS in the home network and profiles those consumer segments most likely to purchase a NAS solution. The report is currently available through the TDG website (http://www.tdgresearch.com).

About TDG Research

TDG Research is a “think tank” of consumer technology analysts charged with providing timely, actionable intelligence designed to best position new consumer technologies for rapid diffusion. Our team is committed to providing market research and strategic consulting services based on conservative, real-world analysis and market forecasts grounded in consumer research. For more information about TDG Research, visit our website at http://www.tdgresearch.com or email info@tdgresearch.com.

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Andy Tarczon

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