Why I still think that users will be paid to use Online Data Storage (like Yahoo Mail)

A few months ago I wrote Why I think future Online Data Storage companies will Pay You to Upload Data, and while not everyone agreed with me (some from the mainstream data storage industry may have felt threatened) I still stand by my prediction, and in some cases, it’s already started to happen as Google announced it will pay residuals to YouTube users.

Yahoo has just announced unlimited Yahoo Mail storage, which I believe is a huge treasure trove of user data, marketable information, and preference information that will help Yahoo market it’s ads or ads of others. We all know that about 85% of Google’s revenue is from Adwords, one could assume that a healthy chunk of Yahoo revenues is also from contextual marketing.

[The contextual data collected from Yahoo Mail and other online data warehouses is worth billions of dollars of contextual marketing revenue, users will eventually get a cut of the residuals]

While the details of Yahoo’s mail increase are not clear, such as Allen Stern asking for clarification on what exactly can be stored and Christopher Salazar questions if we users really want our data in the hands of a marketing company.

I still believe that companies that offer Online Data Storage will pay you to use their services in the near future. Online Data Storage is getting cheaper every month, so the determining factor will be how to bundle this service in a way that can help users store their entire life online, and make some residual money from contextual advertising.

I predict that Google Mail will follow suit, then the price war will happen, it won’t be about which is cheaper, but which mail client, Gmail or Yahoo Mail will pay users more money.

Having worked at a traditional data storage company and having a web career, I’m watching the Online Data Storage market carefully, which is a significant portion of the infrastructure of Social Media, you can see all my posts titled Data Storage. If you haven’t read my 40 points on the future of online data storage, now would be a good time.

While it doesn’t impact my predictions, you should know that I use Yahoo mail, and other Yahoo storage products like Flickr. I’m also a Yahoo shareholder, and Yahoo client of PodTech.

  • This is an interesting prediction, but it’s not unbelievable. The competition between the Internet giants grows ever more fierce — who knows what they’ll do next.

    My vote is that Google will start doing this kind of thing first — if it happens at all. But I’m a big fan of Google, so it may just be wishful thinking on my part.

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  • Brian

    Google has been reported to already start paying YouTube users that upload data…it’s started already.

  • For YouTube, it makes sense. The user data is a revenue generator for Google due to traffic. For things like email or personal data storage, I’m not sure I can see it producing as much of a profit from things like ads. Then there’s blogging… but bloggers are already getting paid via advertising. I’m just curious if there will be other incentives in the near future to create content through blogging — Google does have their hand in THAT too, you know.

  • I say let the revolution begin! Data is a wonderful commodity because it is worth something different to everyone. Marketers envision vast amounts of customer info. Data Storage sees fodder for income from Marketers. Users say, “Wow! I can put as many photos up as I want! [Flickr]

    I like Salazar’s comment, “those, like me, who hate telemarketers and giving my information away for free.”

    Cheers J!

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  • For YouTube, it makes sense. The user data is a revenue generator for Google due to traffic. For things like email or personal data storage, I'm not sure I can see it producing as much of a profit from things like ads. Then there's blogging… but bloggers are already getting paid via advertising. I'm just curious if there will be other incentives in the near future to create content through blogging — Google does have their hand in THAT too, you know.