Dropbox offers pro users twice the space as competition heats up

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This story was corrected at 11:10 a.m. with the correct pricing for Box.net’s services.

Dropbox pro subscribers can now get excited about twice as much storage space on their accounts for no additional cost, as the company plans to announce Tuesday that it will double the storage space it offers to paid subscribers.

The decision comes as other companies are offering more competitively priced cloud storage options and as consumers themselves change how they use that space, uploading more material to the cloud and demanding more from their provider.

Subscribers who previously paid for the 50 GB Dropbox product will be upgraded to 102 GB of space. (Previously, subscribers received the 2 GB of free space provided to all users, plus an additional 48 GB.) The 100 GB subscribers will be upgraded to 202 GB of storage.

Dropbox will begin making the switch around 6 p.m. on Tuesday and should be finished by the following morning. Customers will receive an email when their accounts have been upgraded. New pro subscribers will be offered those same rates and storage sizes as well if they go to sign up on the website.

Anna-Christina Douglas, product marketing manager at Dropbox, said that the company decided to offer customers more storage space for the same price partially because they had received so many requests to offer more storage, but also because customers are using their subscriptions differently and uploading more of their daily content to the cloud.

Within the consumer data storage space, Dropbox faces competition from services like Google DriveMicrosoft’s SkyDrive, Amazon’s Cloud Drive, and the slightly more enterprise-focused Box, among other options.

The new Dropbox pro account offering 102 GB (formerly the 50 pro subscription) will cost about $100 per year. By comparison, Google Drive offers 100 extra GB at about $60 for the year, Microsoft’s SkyDrive prices the same space per year at $50, and Amazon offers 100 GB for $100 a year. The most expensive end of Box.net’s consumer option offers 50 GB of space for $240 per year.

Douglas said that originally the pro subscription offerings were generally meant for small businesses and the free offerings for consumers, but as consumers are increasingly taking high-resolution photos and videos with smartphone cameras and other equipment, the lines between those groups has blurred, and demand for space has grown.

Dropbox now encourages users to sync their smartphone or point-and-shoot photos to their Dropbox accounts, offering users with free accounts additional storage space if they do so. This makes sense on Dropbox’s part, since consumers are probably unlikely to switch cloud providers once they have personal photos stored with that provider.

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