Media Server Market to Hit 4.5 Million Households, Study Says

Research shows currently only 400,000 U.S. households have a media server.

HP MediaSmart Server
Steve Crowe · July 21, 2008

The media server market will grow to more than 4.5 million U.S. households by 2012, says a new study from Forrester Research.

The report says only approximately 400,000 U.S. households currently have a media server.

J.P. Gownder, an analyst for Forrester Research, says digital content, of course, is driving this growth.

“The digital assets that people have are clearly climbing, and with that comes the potential need for a home server,” Gownder says.

A Forrester Research survey shows the number of people managing photos on their PCs rose from 26 percent of survey respondents in 2002 to 47 percent in 2007. The percentage who own an MP3 player went from 3 percent to 36 percent during the same time frame.

Forrester Research says the most appealing part of a media server is its syncing, streaming and management capabilities of multiple devices in the home.

“There needs to be something beyond backup to make the home server story come alive for consumers,” Gownder says.

“The server category has to demonstrate application extensibility where it’s projecting things you couldn’t do previously rather than just being a source of backup and storage.

“It needs to proactively help people with their media.”

The Diffusion Group has a report that says the media server market will grow to 21.5 million households in North America by 2015.

Diffusion Group analyst Ted Theocheung says mass adoption of home media servers won’t happen until manufacturers have built-in servers or server-like functions in their products.

“That changes the whole model,” Theocheung says. “If you have to buy these yourself, the trend is going to be slower.

“But when service providers latch onto this and let you just add $5 to your $100 monthly cable bill, it’s not a noticeable impact.”

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  About the Author

Steve Crowe has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Steve at

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  Article Topics

News · Media Server · Research · All Topics
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