Revenue related to consumer use of cloud-based backup/storage sites will grow from almost US$75 million in 2009 to more than $372 million in 2015, at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 27.89%, according to new info from ABI Research (

According to ABI Research practice director Larry Fisher, “The consumer value proposition for many cloud computing applications is simple; they’re free. Most of the 1000+ US consumers responding to a 2010 ABI Research survey said they were hesitant to pay anything for use of a cloud-based service site.”

Right behind the price/cost issue, the major reason most would consider using a cloud-based application was ubiquity: the concept that they could access their valued content from any Internet-connected computer. ABI Research’s analysis found that just 11.6% of the US consumer market for online backup/storage services was paid for in 2009. Most cloud-based backup and storage sites provide consumer services either entirely free or free at the entry level, but several do provide a more robust offering on a paid basis.

The ABI Research forecast model indicates that the paid portion of the sector will grow along with increasing use of netbooks to replace (or supplement) consumer laptops and other mobile Internet devices. Other factors supporting growth in the sector include growing public awareness of cloud computing.

“Many companies will provide free access to their web-based applications to consumers in the hope that they’ll be sufficiently impressed to bring their enthusiasm for these applications to the businesses for which they work,” Fisher says. “Commercial pricing is then based on the number of users and the amount of storage used.”