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Cloud Media Services Go Mainstream: Quarter Of Broadband Subscribers Now Users

by David Mercer | Jan 24, 2013

Our latest ConsumerMetrix Bulletin examines the status of cloud media and “digital locker” services in the US. These have become a popular way to enable multiscreen media access since consumers no longer have to worry about where their music, video or games are stored. Examples include Apple’s iTunes Match/iCloud, Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music. The survey also asked about less prominent services such as Ultraviolet (the Blu-ray Disc-based service), Samsung Music Hub, LG Cloud, OnLive and Gaikai.

Our survey of more than 2000 US respondents found that 45% of people have used at least one of these services at some point. In total 27% of people have used cloud media services during the past month, and 15% at least during the past week. Younger demographics not surprisingly are the lead adopters: peak usage occurs in the 20-24 age group and falls away steeply above 35, although 25% of 65 and overs claim to have used a cloud media service at some time.

The leading service, again not surprisingly, is Apple’s iCloud, which is used by 27% of all respondents and by more than a third of all under 35s. Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music are the next most important services. Music is the dominant media type for most services but usage of video, games and other genres is not insignificant for all of the leading players. We'll be analysing the results for the European market shortly, although fewer such services have been available compared to the US.

As stores selling physical media continue to close in great number (HMV and Blockbuster just two recent examples in the UK) the signs seem clear: the next generation of music and video customers is quite happy storing media in the cloud, not on discs in their personal collections.

David Mercer

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