“Declines in the sales of tape media are decreasing and the death of tape has been postponed - indefinitely,” writes Chris Mellor of The Register.

According to recent numbers published by the Santa Clara Consulting Group, in the third quarter of 2013, cartridge sales hit $141.73 million. LTO accounted for a whopping 95 percent of revenue.

When looking at the LTO media type breakdown per version, they are as follows:

- LTO-4 - 38 percent of all units sold
- LTO-5 - 37 percent of all units sold
- LTO-3 - 13 percent of all units sold
- LTO-6 - 8 percent of all units sold
- LTO-1 and LTO-2 - 3 percent of all units sold

The brand breakdown (in terms of popularity) has HP with 31 percent of the market share, followed by Fuji and then IBM.

Trailing behind LTO tape cartridges, the second most popular technology is DDS/DAT at $4.9 million. DLS, DLT-V, AIT, and QIC sales were on the low end of the spectrum.

The following chart shows that magnetic data media sales did drop from 2008, but in Q3 of 2013 sales have leveled off. Mellor suggests that the number may rise gradually due to the use of archival tape used in the cloud and alongside disk. This spells good news for magnetic data media in the coming years.

Santa Clara Group Tape Media Sales

Declines in tape media sales are decreasing.

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