Last year, Amazon gave a boost to its Prime members when it launched a free, unlimited photo storage for them on Cloud Drive. Today, the company is expanding that service as a paid offering to cover other kinds of content, and to users outside of its loyalty program. Unlimited Cloud Storage will let users get either unlimited photo storage or “unlimited everything” — covering all kinds of media from videos and music through to PDF documents — respectively for $11.99 or $59.99 per year.
And those who want to test drive it can do so for free for three months.
The move is a clear attempt by Amazon to compete against the likes of Dropbox, Google, Microsoft and the many more in the crowded market for cloud-based storage services. It’s not the first to offer “unlimited” storage, but it looks like it’s the first to market this as a service to anyone who wants it. Dropbox, for example, offers unlimited storage as part of Dropbox for Business, Google also aims unlimited options currently at specific verticals, with its enterprise version, Drive for Work, its closest competitor; Microsoft also offers a business user-focused service for those who subscribe to Office 365.
The idea here is to tap into the average consumer who has started to reach a tipping point with the amount of digital media he or she now owns, potentially across a range of devices and in not a very organised fashion (hello, me).
“Most people have a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays, and everyday moments stored across numerous devices. And, they don’t know how many gigabytes of storage they need to back all of them up,” said Josh Petersen, Director of Amazon Cloud Drive, in a statement. “With the two new plans we are introducing today, customers don’t need to worry about storage space–they now have an affordable, secure solution to store unlimited amounts of photos, videos, movies, music, and files in one convenient place.”
It’s not clear how many customers Amazon has today for Cloud Drive, but as with other new services Amazon has launched — such as Amazon Music — it seems that the idea here is not to convert consumers already using other services, but to pick up new ones from the masses who have yet to adopt anything.
Prime members and Fire device owners, by the way, can still get the unlimited photo option free, but have to pay for the Unlimited Everything Plan for other kinds of media. Those who are already taking other tiers of Cloud Drive use can swap over from today.
Here are the details on the new plans, as per Amazon:
Unlimited Photos Plan (free 3-month trial, then $11.99 per year–equivalent of less than $1 per month): Store an infinite number of photos in Cloud Drivewithout worrying about taking up space on phones, cameras, or other devices. Customers can upload existing collections and store all future photos taken. This plan also includes 5 GB of additional storage for videos or other documents and files.
Unlimited Everything Plan (free 3-month trial, then $59.99 per year–equivalent of less than $5 per month): Store an infinite number of new and existing photos, videos, files, documents, movies, and music in Cloud Drive.