In a study conducted by Strategy Analytics, it was discovered that iCloud and iTunes Match make up 27 percent of all cloud storage in the United States in the third quarter 2012. Ed Barton, director of digital media for Strategy Analytics, said that music is the top in the battle for "cloud domination."

But shouldn't a name like Google or Amazon take the number two spot in this survey? Just like Apple, they both are highly successful in the realm of digital media and entertainment, offering cloud hosting services, and are names just as big as Apple in the tech industry, right?


You will probably be surprised to learn that the study crowned Dropbox the number two cloud hosting provider, accounting for 17 percent of cloud storage in the United States. Amazon Cloud Drive was only a couple of percentage points away from Dropbox, and Google Drive claimed 10 percent.

As Dropbox doesn't have a specific entertainment marketplace, how is it they were able to take the number two slot? Dropbox is merely a cloud hosting provider for digital content, period. So how does it show up on this study as number two?

It's All About Content

It seems, according to Strategy Analytics, that it's all about what type of content is being stored. The results are due to music being stored. 90 percent of all users -- Apple, Google, and Amazon -- are storing their music. 45 percent of Dropbox users are doing the same thing. As such, Dropbox has acquired Audiogalaxy to develop a music player to the Dropbox platform, giving them functionality beyond hosting provider.

Barton said, "Music is currently the key battleground in the war for cloud domination...however, the growth of video streaming and the desire to access content via a growing range of devices will see such services such as the Hollywood-backed digital movie initiative Ultraviolet -- currently used by 4 percent of Americans -- increase market share."

Other Stats

What else did the study uncover? It seems the younger you are, the more likely you are to rely on cloud hosting for your data (more specifically, 20-24 year olds). What about the old 'Mars vs. Venus' comparison? Women tend to favor Apple, while men like Google.

55 percent of those polled say they've never relied on the cloud to host their content at all. This really showcases how much growth the cloud could see: Barton calls them the "potentially willing yet largely oblivious audience." This is where marketing attempts should be focused.

The Future Of The Cloud

Barton wonders, "Is the use of more than one cloud service going to be too much for consumers to handle and will consolidation in such a fragmented market become inevitable?"

Barton said that consumer education is key, "particularly in those over 45." This is how cloud usage would grow. There are some who have no clue as to how cloud storage actually works, as unbelievable as that is. Even more unbelievable: there are some that don't rely on cloud storage whatsoever.

Which cloud provider do you prefer for storage of your digital entertainment content? Why?