Big Data: The four Vs

There are a variety of definitions for Big Data, including being a catch-all for the opportunities presented by the exponential growth of data in the media sector, including structured, internal data available through media companies’ own databases, as well as unstructured data on a multitude of digital channels, including video, audio, photos and reams of social media text.

“Little” data and Big Data have distinctly different characteristics. Little data, or those data whose capacity for storage is measured in gigabytes or smaller, and can be contained on a personal computer. Big Data is too big to fit on a personal computer, and can be stored on the cloud or other big storing system, as most Big Data would be measured in terabytes, petabytes, zettabytes or beyond.

To illustrate the point about the differences in storage requirements for big and little data, a 7-minute high-definition video requires one gigabyte of storage. However, one petabyte, which equals one million gigabytes, could store 13.3 years of continuously running high-definition videos. Google and its video website, YouTube, processes 24 petabytes of Big Data per day.

The data set is a part of a collection of 500 revenue and usership trends in mobile, social, Internet, tablet, video and other digital categories, published in the 200-page Global Digital Media Trendbook 2013. GDMT, in its eight year, is to be published by World Newsmedia Network, a not-for-profit media research company, in September 2013. To subscribe to the PDF report and/or the tablet edition, go to, or contact

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