Jeremiah Owyang, my mentor for all things related to Online Data Storage (worth capitalizing for the time being), sent me the Wall Street Journal story about Google reportedly offering a paid data storage service soon. Given the distribution of Google Desktop, it will instantly be a formidable competitor here (moreso than when it entered new markets where it didn’t have as strong a foothold such as Google Checkout).
Of course, there’s a big difference between free file searching and paid data storage. It would also be interesting to see how well Google’s done with its paid storage for mail (Gmail) and photos (Picasa), Google currently offers 10GB for $20/year, 40 for $75, 150 for $250, and 400 for $500, so we’ll see if those prices stay in place. Gmail already offers nearly 5.3GB for free.
Here’s the competitive landscape Google’s entering, according to WSJ:
The big opportunity (if users will allow it, or skip terms of service) is the ability for Google to sell ads on top of content within a Gdrive.
Eventually, this will continue to become a commodity market, and could flip over to beg for consumers to upload content (data is key for serving ads). I still predict that some online data storage company will figure out how to pay customers to upload data to serve up ads.
Have you ever seen those advertisements that give away computers for free to lower income folks? They get access to a 1000 dollar laptop in exchange to being exposed to heavy advertising.