Consumer cloud storage uptake quickens

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Clouds, all kinds of clouds

Will push past the 500 million user mark this year, says IHS

Consumer cloud subscriptions are growing at a quickening pace, as the public continues to get to grips with the multitude of services such as DropBox and SkyDrive.

There is no shortage of options for consumer cloud services these days, and subscriptions are seeing strong growth.  According to a report from analysts IHS iSuppli, the number of people storing data such as pictures and music files in the cloud is set to break the previous estimation of 500 million users this year, with the figure already at 375 million as of June.  This is up from an estimated 150 million users last year.

IHS forecasts that the figure will continue to rise next year to 625 million, before reaching 1.3 billion in 2017.

“The cloud is a game changer in an age of near-ubiquitous mobile broadband, offering benefits to consumers and cloud service providers alike,” said Jagdish Rebello, Ph.D., director for consumer and communications at IHS.

Rebello adds that larger technology companies are looking at the cloud as a way to generate revenue, and this could affect the pure-play consumer cloud storage providers like Mozy, Dropbox and Carbonite.   These providers, which provide a freemium payment model with charges when using over a set amount of storage, could begin to partner with mobile operators in order to continue to compete with the likes of Apple as the costs of providing storage capacity increase.

Partnering with mobile operators could also create more incentive among customers to stick with with one cloud storage provider, rather than have to move data to another operator.

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