Among the most active mobile photographers, half now use cloud storage services for their images

More awareness, as well as better and more transparent photo backup functionality, could drive further adoption

With cloud storage services increasingly adding features for photo viewing and organizing, 50% of mobile photographers now store a portion of their photos in cloud storage services, according to a new white paper from Suite 48 Analytics. Sixteen percent store all their photos in the cloud. The white paper is based on a study by Suite 48 Analytics, which surveyed 1212 North American mobile photographers between the ages of 25 and 44.

Cloud storage services include offerings such as Dropbox or Apple iCloud that sync files between different devices, using their cloud storage as the central hub. They also include services such as Picturelife and Shoebox that aggregate photos from various devices or online services, but don’t sync them back to the user’s various devices.

General cloud storage or syncing services are increasingly adding features and interfaces targeting photo enthusiasts because their freemium business model – free starter packages plus tiered pricing based on storage volume – benefits from (typically large) photo and video file sizes. Since these services sell storage subscriptions, many cloud services have begun adding features like timeline, metadata-driven photo discovery, visual browsing, and unified photo viewing independent of file or folder structures.

Given the relatively recent introduction of these photo-oriented features or services, it is no surprise that 32% of the respondents who do not store any of their photos in the cloud attribute this to being simply “not that familiar with these services” – indicating there is still substantial room for growth, according to Hans Hartman, president of Suite 48 Analytics and author of the study.

In addition, Hartman believes that the number one factor that could drive further adoption of photo cloud storage services is for these services to more transparently address mobile photographers’ most pressing photo storage need: secure backup.

“Our respondents were clear: backup is the most important reason why they use these services. Many are confused as to whether their photo cloud services offer secure backup, as well as whether they would provide full recovery of their original photo collections in the event their devices break down or are stolen. Some services need to better deliver the desired backup and restore features, others need to better explain how their features work.”

The Photos and the Cloud white paper addresses the following questions:

Do mobile photographers store any of their photos in the cloud?
Why do they store photos in the cloud? 
If they do store photos in the cloud, why not all their photos? 
Which cloud service do they use most?
Why do some not store any photos in the cloud?
Are they concerned about not backing up all their photos in the cloud? 

The study is sponsored by PhotoGurus. Suite 48 Analytics is solely responsible for the content.




The Photos and the Cloud white paper consists of 25 pages with 2 chapters.

Publication date:
December 2014


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