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Study: Most Consumers Open To Cloud Storage, But Only 30% Willing To Pay

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Good news for the developers of the iCloud, UltraViolet and other digital locker systems: nearly 90 percent of consumers say they’re inclined to use cloud-based digital storage solutions. The bad news? Nearly 70 percent say they’d be less apt to use these services if they’re charged for them.

This data comes courtesy of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which released the report Storing Entertainment Content in the Cloud Monday.

Polling 502 U.S. consumers across the age spectrum, PwC’s found that nearly 90 percent of respondents described themselves as “somewhat” or “very interested” in systems that let them store their digital music and movies on third-party servers that make them available for play on a wide range of devices. Nearly two-thirds of consumers polled said they feel comfortable with their “awareness and understanding” of cloud-based systems.

Movies and TV shows were listed as the content survey respondents most wanted store in a cloud, while 96 percent of respondents listed their computer as a primary device that would be used to access and play their cloud-stored media; 68 percent listed game consoles and 62 percent listed mobile devices.

Counterintuitively, those surveyed aged 50-59 showed more interest in cloud storage than those aged 18-34, perhaps the result of cloud systems being designed for heads of household purchasing digital content to share with their family. The studio-backed UltraViolet, for example, lets six family members access a single digital copy of a movie.

Er, clouding the situation, however, is this finding: 68 percent of respondents polled said their willingness to use a system like the iCloud or UltraViolet would be “somewhat” to “very much” affected” if they had to pay between $25 – $99.

This could be a key research finding for, say, the major studios and consumer electronics groups backing UltraViolet, a solution that lets purchasers of DVD, Blu-ray and movie downloads store digital copies of their movies in an authenticated cloud. With disc sales continuing to slide, and lower-margin rental and streaming transactions proliferating, the home entertainment industry is hoping UltraViolet’s device-friendly concept will rekindle a desire among consumers to buy movies and TV shows instead of renting them.