Is 1 cent per GB the new market rate for cloud storage?

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Is 1 cent per GB the new market rate for cloud storage?

Google has upped the ante in the online storage battle by taking the axe to its Drive service pricing today, dropping the cost to as little as one US cent per gigabyte per month.

This puts it as about 2 percent of the price of Amazon's consumer-focused offering, Amazon Cloud Drive, and on par with Amazon Web Services' cheapest product, the Glacier archiving and backup solution.

It means Google has undercut the price of its IaaS offering, Google Cloud Storage, which is priced at 7.6c per GB per month for up to 10TB.

While Google hasn't changed the amount of space that's available for free - 15GB - Google Drive now charges substantially less per month for its paid plans:

  • 100GB - US$1.99 
  • 1TB - US$9.99 
  • 10TB - US$99.99 

The 100GB and 1TB plans previously cost US$4.99 (AUD$5.51) and US$49.99 (AUD$55.20) before. Google Drive storage applies across the company's different products such as Gmail, and Google+ Photos. Creating Google Docs, Sheets or Slides does not use up Google Drive storage however.

Comparing online storage services is difficult due to the way they're set up with differing features, not always located at the same distance from users - factors that affect performance and bandwidth usage. 

On the face of it, Google Drive's competitors will have to shave their pricing severely to remain competitive when it comes to storage capacity.

Microsoft has not yet responded to Google's price drop, but currently, its OneDrive cloud storage offers 7GB for free, with 3GB of space for optional "camera roll" photos, and a maximum of 5GB bonus for referrals who sign up for the service.

OneDrive offers annual plans for individual users:

  • 7GB - free
  • Add 50GB - US$25
  • Add 100GB - US$50
  • Add 200GB - US$100

Amazon's Cloud Drive by comparison comes with just 5GB for free. The Cloud Drive paid plans are charged annually:

  • 20GB - US$10 (US0.83 per month)
  • 50GB - US$25 (US$2.08 per month)
  • 100GB - US$50 (US$4.17 per month)
  • 200GB - US$100 (US$8.33 per month)
  • 500GB - US$250 (US$20.85 per month)
  • 1TB - US$500 (US$41.17 per month)

Amazon Web Services charges 8.5c per GB per month for S3 standard storage, and 1c per GB per month for its Glacier storage.

Dropbox has a basic plan that is free, but offers a mere 2GB of storage. Its Pro plan has more capacious options charged monthly or annually, with the latter alternative providing a 17 percent discount:

  • 100GB - US$9.99 (US$99.99/year)
  • 200GB - US$19.99 (US$199/year)
  • 500GB - US$49.99 (US$499/year)
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