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Outlook For Cloud-Based Video Storage Is, Well, Cloudy

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If Hollywood had its druthers, we’d all be buying–not renting–movies and TV shows by the bushel. But some new research from In-Stat offers mixed signals as to just how receptive U.S. consumers are to owning video content, particularly in the kind of cloud-based rights locker promised by UltraViolet.

About half of those surveyed reported using their desktop PC as their primary storage unit, while 30 percent said the same for their laptops. Smaller percentages use handheld or gaming devices.

Those sound like healthy numbers, but there’s some additional figures that call into question whether the ownership models that studios are intent on delivering due to high profit margins can really find traction. “Only TV programs and movies that will be viewed multiple times will be purchased,” the survey found, and only 10 percent of U.S. broadband households currently view locally stored video on multiple devices.

While In-Stat forecasts that by 2015 there will be 65 gigabytes per household, such a cloudy picture emerges here of just what habits govern consumer digital video consumption. Analyst Keith Nissen characterizes it as a “mix of physical discs, free content, video on demand, streaming and rental models, in addition to outright purchases.”

Without clear preferences, the electronic-sell-through market really has its work cut out for it.