Amazon introduces Cloud Drive in Italy and Spain following September’s launch in the UK, Germany and France. Cloud Drive is Amazon’s digital locker offering to complete its media offering. As the Kindle Fire is expected to launch in Europe in the coming days, Cloud Drive will allow users to store their photos, music and documents in the cloud and stream this data to a Kindle Fire or a computer.
Users will get 5 GB of free storage when signing up. They can then choose to subscribe at £6 or €8 a year for 20 GB, with more expansive plans available. Prices have been lowered in the U.S. as well. The cheapest plan now starts at $10 a year for 20 GB.
Amazon introduces new features for existing customers. You can now share your files by copying a public link. It is very reminiscent of Dropbox’s sharing feature. The company now provides a desktop app with a deep integration with iPhoto. Users can choose which album or event to upload, then everything is copied to Amazon’s servers.
Cloud Drive is an important part of Amazon’s cloud offering for consumers for photos and documents. With Amazon Cloud Player, the other customer locker service, users can stream their music on Android, iOS or a computer if they bought it on Amazon MP3 or uploaded it to Amazon Cloud Player. Cloud Player paid subscribers can store an unlimited number of MP3 or AAC files in the service.
Finally, the last part of Amazon’s content ecosystem is Amazon Prime. In the U.S., Amazon Prime comes with a lot of entertainment content as well. Users can read books from Amazon’s library, stream movies from a large catalog.
Content deals in Europe will be the next important challenge for Amazon. Selling its Kindle Fire without a good content offering is not in its best interest, as Amazon doesn’t make a lot of money from its Kindles. Instead, it bets on selling content and people actually using the device. While delivering Cloud Drive to European users is a first step, Amazon still has a long road ahead, especially when it comes to movie streaming deals.