Every day there seems to be yet another me-too cloud service that lets users store, share, and sync their personal and work files off site.Like how about a company that lets you view your stored photos and video on a big, shiny high-def TV?
Dropbox, the undisputed champion of the consumer space, claims more than 50 million users. Box, which rolls out features faster than some people change socks, just passed 12 million mostly business users. That’s a whole lot of users, but Mathias Ericsson, president of CloudMe , a Swedish cloud-storage company, said that’s just scratching the surface of the opportunity — especially for players that differentiate themselves above and beyond the free or near-free storage to other useful things.
Hype aside, millions of users still lack cloud storage
CloudMe is free for up to 3GB of data, but if users refer other customers, they can get up to 16GB. Like Box and Dropbox, CloudMe does not break out the percentage of paying customers. It’s also partially owned by Excerion, the Linkoping, Sweden-based company that originally owned the iCloud name and sold it to that other company that’s jumped into the cloud storage business, Apple. But I digress.
CloudMe is trying to distinguish itself in other ways new support for Samsung Smart TVs as endpoint devices. If viewing your Word documents on a high-def TV doesn’t float your boat, consider this: CloudMe customers can store video — lots of it — in their various CloudMe folders. Now that Samsung TV doesn’t seem like such a bad idea does it?
Psst it’s not just about smartphones and tablets anymore
The company is just following the consumerization-of-IT playbook. “The whole cloud started with computers, then tablets and smartphones,” Ericsson said. “Our newest users are accessing us from iPad or Android tablets [but] then when they want to show pictures they will want to use TVs as their display device.”
As far as I know, SugarSync is the only other cloud storage player to offer Samsung Smart TV support — let me know in comments if I’m wrong there — which it launched at the Consumer Electronics Show to get a leg up on, you guessed it, Dropbox.
Ericsson said his company sees increased interest from hardware companies that do not have their own cloud storage. “We can offer them an open ecosystem based on CloudMe,” he said.
For Europeans, CloudMe may be especially attractive compared to U.S.-based rivals. Since the company is based in the European Union, all data stays local in accordance with European Commission data protection recommendations. Those recommendations and data protection in general will be a topic at our upcoming Structure: Europe conference in Amsterdam in a few weeks.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr user getinet.