Skip to main content
splunk background

The Hidden Costs of Downtime in Communications and Media

We surveyed executives across the Global 2000 to explore the depths of downtime: what it costs, what causes it, and what leading organizations are doing right. Here, we highlight findings from respondents in the Communications and Media industry.


The cost of downtime for Communications and Media organizations is $143 million annually.

Communications and Media has the lowest annual downtime cost of any industry. However, revenue loss ($32M) accounts for nearly one-quarter of all downtime-related expenses. But other direct costs add up, too. Respondents cite brand trust campaigns ($16M), regulatory fines ($14M), public and investor relations costs ($13M), and ransomware payouts ($9M) as other top expenditures.

Splunk for Communications & Media

Downtime can come from anywhere

Downtime isn’t just an ITOps or engineering issue. It’s a security one as well. Understanding the most common culprits can help companies manage incident response and possibly prevent lightning from striking twice.

The Global 2000 confirmed downtime’s dual origins: 56% come from security incidents while 44% stem from application or infrastructure issues.

52% of Communications and Media organizations say cybersecurity-related human error is “often” or “very often” the offender. Other top cybersecurity-related downtime causes include:

  • Phishing attacks (32%)
  • SaaS/third-party application issues (26%)
  • Malware attacks (26%)

Cybersecurity-related human error results in the most downtime — and takes the longest to detect and remediate. Across industries, Communications and Media experiences the longest detection time.

25 hours average mean time to detect (MTTD)

75 hoursaverage mean time to recover (MTTR)

Tackling downtime with smart technology investments

Communications and Media organizations spend a combined $26.6M on cybersecurity tools ($14.4M) and observability tools ($12.2M) annually — less than the combined average across all industries ($43.3M).


But no other technology has made as much of a splash recently as generative AI: 64% use discrete generative AI tools (e.g., ChatGPT) to address downtime.


Meanwhile, 49% use generative AI features embedded into existing tools, such as AI assistants that help write queries and troubleshoot.

Communications and Media organizations’ toughest obstacles to managing downtime

75% say data sprawl


56% say too many false positives/alert fatigue


Communications and Media organizations can champion a more resilient business

Learn more about the Hidden Costs of Downtime and how Splunk can help.

Get the Full Report
Communications & Media Overview