Amazon Scraps Free 5GB Cloud Drive Storage. Bring Unlimited Plans Starting $1 p.m
Every large internet company, be it Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and many others have their Cloud storage offerings. Most of them offer some amount of Cloud storage for free and then have tiered paid plans for higher storage requirements.
Microsoft’s OneDrive and Google’s Drive are currently leading the charge when it comes to free cloud storage. Both these companies offer 15GB free storage for all users and you are free to store any files on those cloud. Beyond that they have various tiered plans.
On the other hand, Yahoo owned photo storage service Flickr last year announced whopping 1000GB of free storage, but it is applicable to photos only.
Amazon, who launched Cloud Drive back in 2011, seem to be going the other way. They previously had a 5GB free storage plan on their Cloud Drive service, however, looks like they have now scrapped that. Instead, they are now bringing paid-only unlimited plans to the users.
What happens to existing Amazon Cloud Drive Free users?
Interestingly, the existing free users will also need to move to paid plans and if they do not want to subscribe, they will need to go for 3 month trial period, during which they can upload or download new files. If existing users do not go for trial plan they will be able to view and download the content, but not upload any new content.
New Amazon Cloud Drive Plans
Amazon has launched 2 new unlimited plans – “Unlimited Photos” and “Unlimited Everything”. Priced at $11.99 per year Unlimited Photos will allow unlimited photo storage, plus 5 GB for videos and files. On the other hand the $59.99 per year Unlimited Everything plan will allow unlimited storage all of your photos, videos, files and documents.
Amazon Cloud Drive apps are now also available on all platforms and devices, including Windows PC, Mac, Android devices, iOS devices and Windows phone platform.
While most of the other cloud storage players are consistently increasing their free storage offerings, Amazon has gone the other way. Some of the smaller players like Mega and others are offering upto 50 to 100 GB secure storage free, so it is quire surprising that Amazon has decided to make it all paid.
In our view, Amazon did not seem to have got good response to their Cloud Drive offerings, and other players like OneDrive, DropBox, Box.net, Mega and others seem to be catering to individual users. Amazon probably wants to have pro and corporate users rather than individual users on their platform and hence this change.
Whatever the reason, Amazon seems to have plans that are different from other Cloud storage companies…