International Data Flow

The World Wide Web. A decentralized network of data stored on servers all around the world. But many countries—China, Russia, Germany, and Belgium, to name a few—are enacting laws requiring multinational companies to store and process country-specific data on local servers. According to the source, relaxing such restrictions has become a priority of President Donald Trump’s administration as they negotiate trade agreements, including the upcoming renegotiation of NAFTA.

Proponents of these laws say that having their users’ data stored locally aids in cyber security. Opponents say that storing data on local servers is more expensive, especially for small to medium sized companies. High tech companies worry about having their source codes stolen. Some companies worry that governments or political groups will use the data stored on these servers for illegitimate reasons. And many argue that limiting data flow also limits job growth and innovation. According to Nigel Cory, a trade policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, “data needs to flow to create value.”

Today’s market size is the estimated value of data flowing through international borders in 2014, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2014
Market size: $2.8 trillion
Sources: Yu, Roger, “More Firms Push Back on Foreign Data Rule,” USA TODAY for the Lansing State Journal, August 13, 2017, page 4B
Original source: Manyika, James, et. al., Digital Globalization: The New Era of Global Flows, McKinsey Global Insitute, February 2016 available online here.
Image source: Geralt, “Binary-hands-keyboard-tap-enter-2372131,” Pixabay, June 2017 available online here.

Smart Wearable Healthcare Market

fitbit-imgThe market for smart wearable healthcare devices is one part of the larger smart wearables market as a whole. The term wearables is used to refer to any electronic device, usually small, that can be worn relatively easily during the normal activities of life. Examples include wristbands such as the Fitbit, smart watches, clip on devices like pedometers and even clothing into which sensors have been sewn.

Smart wearable healthcare devices are those that are specifically designed to help a person monitor his or her own health—activity level, hours of sleep, heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, etc.—as well as devices designed to communicate remotely with medical providers so that they may monitor a patient from afar.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2014 and forecasted for 2020
Market size: $2 billion and $41 billion respectively
Source: “Healthy Beats — With Health Being the ‘Great Motivator,’ Wearables Are Gaining Popularity,” Corp! Sept./Oct. 2016, pages 36-39.
Original source: Soreon Research

Library Spending


Today’s market size is the dollar amount spent, worldwide, by libraries on content. “Content” in this context refers to all material, physical or digital, purchased by libraries to become a part of their offerings.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2011 and estimates for 2013
Market size: $23.78 billion and $24.79 billion respectively
Source: Andrew Neilson, “Content Spending by Library Type and Geography, 2011,” The Rise of eBooks: Global eBooks Trends, Elsevier, June 23, 2013, available online here. The photo comes from this website and is an interior shot of the Washington State Library.
Original source: Outsell, Inc.
Posted on February 27, 2014

Spending on Internet Access

Today’s market size is the amount that was spent in the United States on Internet access in 2005 and in 2012. The increased spending from 2005 to 2012, after inflation, was 154% while the increased penetration of Internet access as a percent of the U.S. population grew by only 19% (from approximately 68% to 81%). Clearly, something other than a rising rate of Internet connectivity in the population is behind the rapidly rising national expenditure on Internet connectivity. The increased expenditure is most likely related to the changing infrastructure used to access the Internet. Users are shifting from dial-up connections to more costly, higher speed connections such as DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), Cable Internet access, Satellite Internet access and mobile broadband via cell phone service.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2005 and 2012
Market size: $29.7 billion and $80.7 billion respectively
Sources: (1) “Table 2.4.5 Personal Consumption Expenditures by Type of Product,” National Income and Product Accounts Tables, (NIPA), U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, August 7, 2013, available from the BEA web site here. (2) “Percent of Individuals Using the Internet 2000–2012,” ITU, available here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Posted on January 14, 2014


Anyone who is truly interested in knowledge will be a friend of the library. Even in an age which defines itself as the “information age,” libraries play an essential role in society. In fact, based on U.S. library usage data from this century, that role is growing.

Today’s market size is the estimated total number of libraries in the United States. The largest category of library is the school library, which accounts for slightly over 80% of all libraries and does not include the academic library which is associated with higher education. The second largest category of library is the public library with a 7.5% share of the total.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2010
Market size: 119,987
Source: “Number of Libraries in the United States — ALA Library Fact Sheet 1,” American Library Association, August 2013, available online here.
Original source: The ALA web site provides a long list of sources upon which the organization drew in order to reach the total count.
Posted on September 23, 2013

Wireless Systems in Cars

Nearly all automakers offer some sort of wireless network in their cars, such as General Motors’ OnStar and Ford’s SYNC. Data show the estimated revenue from wireless devices in cars in 2013. This figure is projected to increase tenfold by 2025.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2013
Market size: $2.5 billion
Source: Andy Greenberg, “Digital Carjackers,” Forbes, August 12, 2013, pages 44-46
Original source: GSMA, a mobile industry trade group
Posted on August, 15, 2013

Map Apps

According to IHS Automotive, one in four U.S. cars now comes with a navigation system. Globally, installations of dashboard navigation systems are estimated to reach 13.8 million by the end of 2013. Typically, automakers charge between $500 to more than $2,000 for these systems. Even standalone GPS systems tend to cost hundreds of dollars. In addition to high cost, these systems come preloaded with maps and are not connected to the internet, thereby making them more difficult to update. In some cases, a trip to the dealership is necessary.

In contrast, smartphone and tablet map apps are internet-connected, easy to update, often give real-time traffic information and in some cases can be downloaded for free. In 2012, 47% of car owners said that they used a smartphone map app while driving, up from 37% in 2011. Makers of dashboard navigation systems have taken notice. General Motors’ OnStar, Garmin, and TomTom all have created map apps of their own, ranging in price from $36 to $150. In some cases, these apps run both on mobile devices and on a car’s dashboard.

Today’s market size is the number of map app downloads in the U.S. in May 2013, an 11% increase from the total downloaded in May 2012.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: May 2013
Market size: 79.1 million
Source: Keith Naughton, “OnStar, Garmin Try to Keep Pace with Waze, Other Free Navigation Apps,” Bloomberg Businessweek, July 25, 2013, available online here.
Original source: ComScore
Posted on August 13, 2013



The news this week about The Washington Post being purchased for $250 million by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos made us want to update an earlier post about the newspaper industry, here. And so, we present today’s market size post, including a chart that shows U.S. newspaper industry revenues, annually, since 1998. Clearly, an industry going through significant change.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2000 and 2012
Market size: $50.29 billion and $32.04 billion respectively
Source: “Table 3.0.1 Information Sector Services (NAICS 51) — Estimated Revenue for Employer Firms: 1998 Through 2004,” Service Annual Survey, April 2006, page 24, available online here, and annual updates of the same which are available on the Census Bureau’s site here.
Original source: U.S. Census Bureau
Posted on August 9, 2013

Cloud Computing Services

In recent years more and more companies have been putting their data “in the cloud.” There are 625 million subscribers to cloud document storage services. That number is expected to reach 1.3 billion in 2017. Cloud computing service companies allow users to store data on the service provider’s remote servers from which users can access that data from anywhere using Internet-based software and a computer or mobile device. While this can be a cost-saving measure for companies, securing the data on public servers is still a concern. After recent high-profile security breaches at such companies as Nasdaq, LinkedIn, and Twitter, many cloud service companies have invested in tighter security systems for their servers.

Today’s market size data show the amount of revenue from public clouds in 2011 and projected revenue for 2016. Currently, 25% of all business information globally is held on servers that are part of what is referred to as the cloud.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2011 and a projection for 2016
Market size: $19.4 billion and $206.6 billion respectively
Source: Steve Johnson and Scott Davis, “In the Cloud,” Lansing State Journal, March 24, 2013, pages 1E, 4E.
Posted on April 8, 2013

3D Printing

The arrival on the market of consumer level 3D printers in 2012 has brought a great deal of attention to the subject of 3D printing. In essence, 3D printing may be defined as follows: A way of making objects using a computer-driven, additive process, one layer at a time. A computer-aided design (CAD) system is used by a printer-like machine which creates thousands of cross sections of the designed object and then produces that object, in plastic or metal, layer by layer. Although the name is relatively new, the technology behind 3D printing emerged in the 1980s for use, primarily, in the manufacturing sector.

There are two distinct branches of 3D printing: (1) small-scale 3D printing, where individuals or small groups with comparatively cheap machines print plastic objects in their homes or small shops, and (2) industrial 3D printing, which is usually called additive manufacturing (AM). The current industrial applications of 3D printing (primarily the creation of models, molds and dies) are seen by many as having the potential to have a revolutionary impact on manufacturing as a whole, in part because of its replacement of more traditional machine tooling tasks.

Today’s market size is an estimated value of the 3D printer market in 2012 and a forecast as to its value within a decade. This forecast comes from a gentleman who is a founding member of a company selling 3D printers to the public, 3D Systems. His forecast may refer only to 3D printers sold for nonindustrial applications, in other words, the first of the two branches of this market, as described above.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2012 and 2022
Market size: $500 million and $35 billion respectively.
Source: Abe Reichental in a video interview with the Financial Times, “3D Printing ‘Bigger than Internet,'” June 21, 2012, available online here. “How Will 3D Printing Impact The Manufacturing Industry?” Seeking Alpha, March 18, 2013, available online here.
Original source: 3D Systems
Posted on April 2, 2013

Instructional Technology

There is a lot of churn going on in the publishing world and the textbook segment of that industry is no different. In fact, it may be experiencing more upheaval and change than is the industry as a whole, though that would be very hard to quantify. Everyone in the publishing trade is adapting to the digital world in one way or another.

Today’s market size focuses on an industry in which eTextbooks are but a small part. The market size comes from a press release about a new market study. The elaborate title of that study is “Global Smart Education & Learning Market Advanced Technologies, Digital Models, Adoption Trends & Worldwide Market Forecast (2012—2017),” a title whose very complexity says a lot about the market being studied. That market, as defined by the study authors, includes far more than eTextbooks. It includes software applications, electronic libraries, curriculum systems, and much more. This market “caters to the needs of national governments and international standard bodies, educators from all streams and from different levels, stakeholders for training and workforce skills.”

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2011
Market size: $73.8 billion, of which, the North American market accounted for approximately 60% of this total revenue.
Source: “Global Smart Education and Learning Market Is Expected to Reach a Value of $220 Billion by 2017, New Report Says,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 2013, available online here.
Original source: Research And Markets
Posted on March 7, 2013


Over the last decade bioinformatics has been characterized by the mapping of many genomes. This has fueled explosive growth in the field generally, growth which is anticipated to continue into the future.

Bioinformatics, in the most basic sense, is the application of information technology to the life sciences to increase the understanding of biological and chemical processes. It is the study of the methods for storing, retrieving and analyzing biological data, a wealth of which is growing rapidly and thus feeding demand for more bioinformatics. Fields that benefit from the output of bioinformatics are many, including especially agricultural biotechnology, pharmaceutical research and development, and medical and clinical diagnostics.

Today’s market size is the estimated value of this hybrid industry in 2012 and a projected value for 2018.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2012 and 2018
Market size: $2.3 billion and $9.1 billion respectively
Source: “Global Bioinformatics Market is Expected to Reach USD 9.1 Billion in 2018: Transparency Market Research,” The Herald, November 28, 2012, a link to which is here.
Original source: Transparency Market Research, whose study on this industry may be purchased on their website here.
Posted on November 28, 2012

Home Wireless Routers

Many people who own tablet computers, laptops, and e-readers own wireless routers. Wireless routers allow them to connect to the Internet through these devices from anywhere in their homes. Data show sales of home wireless routers in 2005 and 2011.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2005 and 2011
Market Size: $700 million and $1.3 billion respectively
Source: Tamara Chuang, “When the Home’s Most Important Internet Device Fails,” The Street, September 17, 2012, available online here.
Original Source: Dell’Oro Group
Posted on September 26, 2012


Annual revenue generated by the newspaper industry in the United States fell again in 2010, following a pattern seen throughout the last decade. The most recent Service Annual Survey, published by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows a decline in revenues from 2005 to 2010 for the newspaper publishing industry of 30 percent, and this represents a loss of revenue before inflation. The loss, when adjusted for inflation, was 42 percent.

Today’s market size is the size of the newspaper industry in the United States based on annual revenues in 2010.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2010
Market size: $34.7 billion
Source: “Table 3.0.1 Information Sector (NAICS 51)—Estimated Revenue for Employer Firms: 2005 through 2010,” Service Annual Survey, February 2, 2012, available online here.
Posted on February 20, 2012


An announcement is expected on Thursday, January 19th, from Apple Corporation having to do with their plans in the area of electronic textbooks. As one might imagine, much attention is being paid to this news by the academic world and the publishing world alike.

Today’s market size is an estimated total value of textbook sales in the United States based on a quote from Steve Jobs in the recently published biography about him by Walter Issacson. A brief look at the Census Bureau’s data on the topic suggests that the estimate is reasonable. The Census Bureau figure is provided here as well.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2007 and 2010
Market size: $7.06 billion in 2007 (Census data) and $8 billion (Jobs quote from 2010 which appears in the biography Steve Jobs
Source: “Sector 51: Information: Industry Series: Preliminary Product Lines by Kind of Business for the United States: 2007,” 2007 Economic Census, available here. The Jobs quote is from an article by Roger Yu in USA Today, titled “Technology, Costs, Lack of Appeal Slow E-textbook Adoption,” published on January 16, 2012 and available here.
Original source: U.S. Census Bureau
Posted on January 18, 2012

Cantaloupes and Other Agricultural Commodities

Being people who work with statistical data every day it was with great pleasure that we read recently that the USDA has decided to reverse its earlier decision to eliminate dozens of longstanding statistical reports that it has maintained for decades. Turns out the industries being covered by these reports find them extremely valuable, essential really. So, industry leaders explained just how important those reports are to their planning and financing and the USDA reconsidered. We find this development most encouraging. Some things really are best done at the large scale by an entity not motivated by its own commercial interests.

Today’s market size, selected from a long list of in-depth USDA commodity reports, is the market for domestic cantaloupe. It is the value (farm value or wholesale value) of cantaloupes harvested in in the United States in 2010 when 77,430 acres were planted with cantaloupe.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2010
Market size: $314.4 million
Source: William Neuman, “U.S. Reverses Decision To End Farming Reports,” The New York Times, December 24, 2011, page B3, available online here. The USDA report on cantaloupes can be found online here. The figure used here is from Table 3—U.S. Cantaloupe: Acreage, Yield, Production, and Value, 1950-2010.
Original source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Posted on December 30, 2011


During this season of gift-giving, books are one category of gift that has seen some growth in recent years. The publishing industry is going through significant changes as it adjusts to huge shifts in the world of publishing, originating for the most part from the digitizing of its products and the move to selling electronically, whether traditional books or digitized books.

Today’s market size is the size of the U.S. book publishing industry based on net sales revenues. The market sizes listed below are based on traditional publisher sales— regardless of the format of the books sold—but do not include sales made by self-publishers or some very small imprints.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2008 and 2010
Market size: $26.5 and $27.9 billion respectively
Source: “BookStats Overall Highlights,” a report by the Association of American Publishers and made available online here.
Original source: Association of American Publishers
Posted on December 23, 2011

Ham Radio Operators

Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, uses a designated “radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication,” according to Wikipedia. Ham radio operations are coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union. Ham radio operators must demonstrate knowledge in electronics and regulations in order to obtain a license for their radio station. Once licensed, the ham radio operator can communicate with people throughout the world.

Amateur radio began in the late 19th Century. By the late 20th Century, the hobby’s
popularity was waning; however, in the early 21st Century, ham radio saw a surge in the number of enthusiasts. By 2010, the number of ham radio licenses in the United States had increased 60 percent since 1981. In 2007, the United States Federal Communications Commission stopped requiring knowledge of Morse Code in order to obtain a license. The increase in ham radio licenses has been attributed to this. In 2010 alone, there were 30,000 new applications for ham radio licenses.

Today’s market size is the total number of people that have ham radio licenses in the United States.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2010
Market Size: 700,000
Source: Matt Sepic, “Ham Radio Growing in the Age of Twitter,” NPR, April 5, 2010, available online here and “Amateur Radio,” Wikipedia, available online here.
Posted on December 9, 2011

Data Loss

That sinking feeling… we have all probably been there, face to face with a computer we count on that has begun to act up. The loss of data resulting from computer hardware failure, software corruption or even human error, is painful and costly. Measuring the loss is a difficult task but one that was undertaken by Dr. David M. Smith and reported on in the article from which we source today’s market size post. A full citation is below.

Specifically, the market size presented here is the estimated annual loss to businesses in the United States due to data losses on PCs and laptops. It dates back to 2003 but it provides us with a scope for the problem and a scope that we know has only grown. For further details, check the source article which defines things clearly.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2003
Market size: $18.2 billion
Source: David M. Smith, “The Cost of Lost Data,” Graziadio Business Review, 2003, available online here.
Original source: Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University
Posted on December 1, 2011

Computers in the U.S.

The steady rise in demand for computers and electronic computing devices in the United States appears, when charted, as a line moving in exactly the opposite direction as the domestic production and shipments of these same products. This is an industry (NAICS 334111) that highlights a trend towards increasing consumption of a product and declining production of the same which feeds the U.S. trade imbalance. But that leads us to complex questions we don’t really want to address here. Here, we present market sizes and today’s is based on the value of Electronic Computer Manufacturing in the United States in 2000 and 2010 as well as the value of net imports of the same products in 2000 and the forecasted value for 2010.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2000 and 2010
Market size: U.S. manufacturing $69.3 and $27.9 billion
Market size: Net imports $89.4 and $199.3 billion
Source: Computer value of shipments from Annual Survey of Manufactures 1997, and the 2002 Economic Census. Net imports of Electric and Electronic Equipment from Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2000. Net imports of Computers and Electronic Products from Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012.
Posted on November 29, 2011