The Future of Video Storage

Imagine free, unlimited, unmetered video storage service for all your video needs.

A service where you could quickly upload, download and watch all your own private videos for free with no restriction on size, quality or content. And a service that was 100% redundant meaning that you could never lose your data, an important factor because there is no way to get back those home movies of little Timmy as a toddler if the house burns down.

  • For the father who has all those CDs he doesn’t know what to do with
  • The professional video editor who has hundreds of hard disks full of data from old projects
  • The local convenience store owner who has to erase his CCTV footage every month due to lack of space
  • All the way up to big corporations who might have thousands of cameras running at once.

Is it really such an unrealistic service?

YouTube already hosts hundreds of millions of videos for free, not to mention the plethora of other free video hosting sites out there.

Dropbox is giving 10gb+ away for free to its users.

The costs of data storage are reducing while the capacity is increasing all at an exponential rate.

That being said, it’s still not cheap. Building a service like this would likely set you back in the hundreds of millions of dollars. So how could you afford to build such a service?

Since the data is not for public viewing and you won’t have large amounts of traffic you can’t sell advertising.

The one asset you are building up is all the data you are storing. Data is information, if you can turn that information into knowledge, into usable data, you may be able to turn a profit from it.

I could guess that most people reading this post probably have either a Google, iTunes or Facebook account. If you have any of these, you’ve probably accepted a privacy agreement that allows these companies to use all of your personal information. To analyse your browsing activities, monitor your interests, what you talk about, what you read and who your friends are.

Many speculate these companies already sell your information to other corporations and even the government including intelligence divisions like the CIA and FBI.

I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with this. If you don’t want your information shared, don’t use the service. Nobody is forcing you to.

So assuming you create a privacy policy drafted in a way that allows you to do analysis on the videos that you are storing for free, here are a few ways I think you could use that data. There is probably thousands more I haven’t thought of.

1. You could use the data from cameras in certain locations to collect and analyze data about the real world. For example how many cars drive down a road per month or how many people pass a shop front each day. You could even go deeper and use it to analyze demographics. How many men vs women vs children pass a particular shop each day. How many cars above $50,000 drive down this road each day etc… Many companies can use this kind of data.

2. You could use it to find people around the world. Easy examples would be for agencies to use. Maybe to find a kidnapped child or a wanted terrorist.

3. You could sell the data to universities for human behavioural analysis

4. You could sell (some) footage to MTV/Funnies Home Videos – this may cause issues but I’m sure you would capture a bunch of hilarious shit.

5. You could provide video data analysis for your individual clients as an upsell service. Companies who want to know the behaviours of their staff or customers in their stores.

Of course all the above would be done by an autmated software product that was able to find results in near realtime.

Outside of monetizing the actual data, you could also:

6. Create a Freemium model where the higher users pay for more bandwidth

7. Create a Freemium model where users can pay so that their data is kept private and cannot be used for analysis

Many companies collect a large amount of data but don’t monetize it correctly. This is a crying shame because in today’s information age there are so many different ways to monetize data at generally little to no cost.