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Consumers Cool Toward Cloud-based Digital Media Storage

14 Mar, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Less than 30% of broadband household respondents in a consumer survey said they liked the concept of storing digitally owned movies and music in a cloud-based locker system, according to a research report.

Dallas-based Parks Associates said concerns regarding consumer awareness, device interoperability, security and market fragmentation contributed to the lukewarm response. Indeed, among consumers wishing to store movies and TV shows, interest hovered around 25%. Those wishing to digitally store movies from their DVR, electronic books, video games and pay-TV channels dropped to about 15%.

Meanwhile, more than 50% of respondents said they approved the overall concept of accessing personal media from multiple devices and locations, including guaranteed replacement of lost or damaged media.

“Netflix and Verizon’s Flexview offer cloud video services, and cloud-based music solutions include MOG, RealNetworks Unifi and mSpot,” said Parks analyst Laura Allen Phillips. “However, taken as a whole, this market is fragmented, leaving consumers to cobble solutions together. Industry growth and consumer adoption rates of cloud-based services will rely on how effectively market players address this issue as well as other challenges.”

Two cloud-based industry initiatives currently underway include UltraViolet from a consortium of studios and technology companies, and separately Disney’s KeyChest platform.

Consumers would be able to store digital files of movies in a virtual locker system accessible from myriad portable and home-based media players. Time Warner said all of its studio 2011 theatrical releases would be UltraViolet compatible.

“Ultraviolet should dramatically boost the appeal of owning movies,” CEO Jeffrey Bewkes said earlier this year.

Disney CFO Jay Rasulo, in a recent analyst presentation, said consumers liked the idea of a virtual storage system, but admitted as well that implementation of the KeyChest platform remained a work in progress.

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