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IHS iSuppli: Cloud-Based Subscriptions to Hit 500 Million

6 Sep, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

From major players such as Amazon, Google and Apple to independents such as Dropbox, Barracuda and SugarSync, the ramp-up of cloud-based content service is leading to a global subscriber base to those services of half a billion by the end of the 2012, according to a new report.

IHS iSuppli said that figure will be up from 300 million in 2011, and should spur more players to enter the market. By 2017, there could be more than 1.3 billion cloud-based service subscribers, the research firm estimates.

“In an environment where mobile devices like smartphones and media tablets handle broadband data on a near-ceaseless basis, businesses are realizing the importance of cloud services in allowing consumers to manage, store and sync content across their devices,” said Dr. Jagdish Rebello, director for consumer and communications at IHS. “And with companies casting about for new viable business models in order to monetize data traffic, cloud-based services could help lead firms into the next revolution of the wireless industry.”

He pointed to Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Apple’s iCloud as two of the main offerings driving adoption of cloud services. However, the breadth of content being stored by consumers in the cloud — videos, music, pictures, books and more — is presenting some challenges in terms of making it easy for consumers to find and manage their content, Rebello noted.

Rebello also pointed out that most of these services are being run at a loss at the outset. The one’s that stay afloat with be those that offer a mix of support for diverse devices and content, while offering value-added services.

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