8 Ways To Save On Storage Setup For Media Production

No one likes paying storage fees. 

However, professionals in marketing and media production know all too well that storage fees for video, photos and data are expenses they have to live with. Without storage, their jobs can’t be done. 

So what’s the best way to find storage on a shoestring budget? How can media production companies save on cost when planning a storage setup plan? 

We asked eight media production, marketing, and data storage companies for their insights. Here’s what they had to offer to help keep expenses low, and the gigabytes high. 

Invest in LTO Tape

If production needs lots of storage at the least possible cost there is basically only one choice, LTO tape. When capturing at high resolutions, files can be gigantic. Keeping them and a backup copy during the complete production cycle might not even be possible. Here, an ingest archive might be the best solution at the lowest cost per TB and with the maximum security the medium offers. Ingest all files are archived immediately to LTO tape. All editing is done on proxies. The final conform is done with only the files actually used in the edit and restored from LTO tape. Scaling with such a tape-based archive is extremely easy and only needs to purchase additional tapes. The price point of tapes starts at about 10USD per TB. The investment pays off in two ways: financially saving constant investment in disk storage and security because LTO tape is the most secure and durable professional storage medium available with 30 years of shelf life.

Dr. Marc M. Batschkus, Archiware

Annual Agreements

Sign an annual agreement with a storage company to get their best rate. Annual agreements will typically waive set up fees and offer a percentage discount for agreeing to 12 months of service. If you know you’ll be using the service for an extended period of time, agree to longer terms to drive down rates. 

Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority

Just Ask

Most things in life are negotiable. Setup fees are no different. If a storage setup fee exists, first take the time to understand why the setup fee exists. Listen carefully to the answer. If the rep gives the slightest indication that they don’t believe in the setup fee either, just ask if the fee can be waived. There’s no harm in asking, and by first learning why the fee exists, you have more validity behind your request. 

Carey Wilbur, Equipment Financing Company

Be a Beta Customer

Sometimes startups need beta customers to help work out the kinks in a storage solution. If you are able to sync up with a storage startup, offer to be a beta customer. In return for low or no storage fees, offer your insights to drive value to the startup. This way, your relationship turns into a mutually beneficial partnership instead of a transactional one.

Francesca Yardley, Threads

Cyber Monday Deals

Yes, Cyber Monday only comes around once a year. But when it does, storage companies will sometimes offer an incredible deal on a monthly or annual basis. I once took advantage of a Cyber Monday deal to get 65% off a service we wanted to use. We’ve been paying that same grandfathered rate ever since. Take advantage of a deal, renew, and save costs on storage services you need.

Brett Farmiloe, Tech SEO Agency

Cloud Storage

You can save storage costs while on a shoestring budget by opting for cloud storage. Take AWS S3, for instance. The S3 standard tier, which is ideal for data that you will access frequently, costs $0.023 per GB. When you need to archive large media files that you are no longer accessing regularly, you can use S3 Glacier, which costs $0.004 per GB. Note that these prices are comparable across any cloud provider you choose.

Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP

Solid State Drives

Creatives should consider solid state drive (SSD) caching as an alternative to high-speed solid state drives when building storage on a budget. SSD caching pairs one or more solid state drives with a large array of spinning hard drives. Frequently accessed data is loaded to the SSDs automatically, for blazing fast access. Since hard drives are available in larger capacities and at a cheaper cost per gigabyte, these arrays experience the best of both worlds – the speed of SSDs, with the capacity and affordability of hard drives, often 40% or less of the cost of SSDs.

Joseph Stornelli, JS Technology Group


Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage in its basic plan and makes collaborating on shared documents simple and effective. Dropbox integrates with Office and Google Docs. If you share your files, other people can collaborate on these documents in real time and any changes you make as a team will save directly to your Dropbox account, making team collaboration a breeze. 

Jim Costa, Producer and Director