Pop quiz: which company leads the cloud-storage market?
If you guessed Dropbox or Amazon, you’d be close—but it’s actually Apple, at least according to new data from research firm Strategy Analytics.
In a survey of 2,300 “connected Americans,” Strategy Analytics found that 27 percent of respondents had used Apple’s iCloud. Dropbox came in second with 17 percent, followed by Amazon Cloud Drive at 15 percent and Google Play at 10 percent.
“Usage of cloud storage is heavily skewed towards younger people, in particular 20-24 year olds, whilst Apple’s service is the only one with more female than male users,” Strategy Analytics wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “Amongst the big four, Google’s is the one most heavily skewed towards males.”
What’s driving people to actually use cloud-storage services? Music. Roughly 90 percent of those “connected Americans” used their cloud-storage service to upload music files. Although Dropbox is the one company of the four that doesn’t offer a storefront or media player for purchasing and playing songs, some 45 percent of its users nonetheless relied on the service to store their music.
“The cloud’s role in the race to win over consumers’ digital media libraries has evolved from a value added service for digital content purchases to a feature-rich and increasingly device agnostic digital locker for music and movies,” Ed Barton, Strategy Analytics’ Director of Digital Media, wrote in a statement. “Dropbox being used by 1 in 6 Americans shows that an integrated content storefront isn’t essential to build a large user base, however we expect competition to intensify sharply over the coming years.”
But that’s not to say cloud storage is ubiquitous: roughly 55 percent of “connected Americans” have never used a cloud-storage service. That’s likely to change as Google, Apple, and other companies continue to throw their marketing muscle behind their respective initiatives. For those companies, of course, cloud storage is an added chance for them to lock customers into their particular ecosystem—and for that reason alone, none of this is going away anytime soon.