When I read the news today that Comcast had upgraded free storage for customers to 1 Gig per Comcast.net email address, it happened to be right after reading another stat from a firm called InfoTrends. InfoTrends predicts that Americans will take 50 billion digital photos in 2007 and 60 billion by 2011. Putting the two data points together pointed me toward a conclusion that I’ve been percolating on for some time now: consumer storage is on the verge of becoming big business.
While Comcast is offering more storage for free (which means storage must be mind-bogglingly cheap), it’s not offering any kind of archiving management solution that I know of. Unfortunately storage isn’t just about finding space, it’s about preserving materials so they’re accessible over the long haul. TWICE magazine had a panel discussion on this issue a while back pertaining specifically to the photo industry, but it’s true whether you’re talking about photos, videos, emails, blogs, or whatever.
There are consumer storage services out there, but none that have broken through to mainstream American consciousness. And more importantly, none that have been tested over years and years to prove they’re lasting solutions. It will be interesting to see how these services hold up and what new ones appear in the next decade.