We have been doing a significant amount of research on the consumer cloud as of late and a harsh reality has become clear. Consumers need the cloud — pure and simple. There are known pain points to consumers that cloud solves, yet they are unwilling to pay for it and utilize it to solve some of their technological problems.
As we look across a number of different demographics, we see clear value in the cloud from everything like automatic backing up, picture syncing, file management from many different devices, etc., yet 76% of consumers don’t pay for a cloud service. Most use whatever is free and many seem to navigate with ease a number of free services to keep from paying for it. What baffles me is how the pain point is fully understood.
For example, 20% of consumers in one of our recent studies indicated they manage (delete) photos on a weekly basis to free up more storage to take new photos. 14% engage in this task monthly to make sure they have enough free space for more photos and 5% indicated they have to do this daily. Nearly 40% of smartphone owners manage/delete photos at least once a month to free up more storage so they can take more photos. Similarly, 56% of millennials indicated they have lost an important file due to a computer/OS crash or some other kind of event.
Now, I understand millennials, especially college students, likely don’t have the monthly income to pay for storage. But the point remains, the cloud would solve what is absolutely a known pain point.
When we dig into the specifics of why people are not utilizing cloud services it is a close race between trusting that their data is kept secure and private (44%) and simply not wanting to pay for it (42%).
The cloud would make so many consumers’ lives better when it comes to their devices. One of my theories going forward is companies will start to bundle this cloud service with others like music, TV, or some other kind of cloud subscription which consumers are more likely to pay for and find greater value in. Perhaps what we have concluded is that the cloud, from a storage stand point, is simply a commodity and should be treated and understood as such.
When we dug into this exact idea, we found consumers were quite a bit more likely to pay for a cloud service which delivered entertainment than a cloud service which delivered storage/synchronization. Validating our thought that storage is a commodity and content is king.