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Friday, March 22, 2013
Apple Leads The Cloud Storage Market, Droppbox Follows

Apple is dominating the cloud storage wars, followed by Dropbox, Amazon and Google according to a Strategy Analytics survey.

In a recent study of almost 2,300 connected Americans, Strategy Analytics found that 27% have used Apple's iCloud followed by 17% for Dropbox, 15% for Amazon Cloud Drive and 10% for Google Play.

Usage of cloud storage is heavily skewed towards younger people, in particular 20-24 year olds, whilst Apple's service is the only one with more female than male users. Amongst the big four, Google's is the one most heavily skewed towards males.

Cloud storage is overwhelmingly dominated by music; around 90% of Apple, Amazon and Google's cloud users store music. Even Dropbox - which has no associated content ecosystem - sees around 45% of its users storing music files. Dropbox's recent acquisition of Audiogalaxy will add a much needed native music player to the platform in the coming months.

Strategy Analytics found that, the big four cloud storage services aside, recognition of other brands was uniformly low. Furthermore 55% of connected Americans have never used a cloud storage service - although, amongst consumers who have used one, one third (33%) had done so in the last week.

"There needs to be considerable investment in evangelizing these services to a potentially willing yet largely oblivious audience," suggests Ed Barton, Strategy Analytics' Director of Digital Media. "Given the size of bet Hollywood is making with Ultraviolet, this will be essential to their success given a crowded market and widespread apathy. However, more fundamental questions remain - is the use of more than one cloud service going to be too much for consumers to handle and will consolidation in such a fragmented market become inevitable?"

Barton concludes, "Although cloud storage is fast becoming a key pillar of digital platform strategies for the world's leading device manufacturers and digital content distributors, there's still a lot of work to do in educating consumers - particularly those over 45. With over half of consumers yet to use any consumer cloud based service, 2013 predictions for the 'year of the cloud' seem unrealistic. However given the market influence of the leading players pushing the concept, in particular Apple, Amazon, Google and Ultraviolet, I won't be surprised to see mainstream adoption and usage spike within the next two to three years in the key US market."

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