Consumers will no longer be able to take advantage of unlimited cloud storage plans under Amazon Drive.
Now, instead of paying around $60 per year to store as much data as they want, users will have a choice between two plan tiers: a 100 GB plan for $11.99 per year or a 1 TB plan for $59.99 per year. Additional data storage space can be purchased up to a cap of 30 TB for an additional $59.99 per terabyte.
“Amazon is now providing options for customers to choose the storage plan that is right for them,” the company said in its announcement.
The change will be rolled out starting today, June 8, but customers who have not yet reached the expiration date on their current unlimited service plan won’t be forced to switch until their subscription runs out.
However, when that expiration date does arrive, customers who have the auto-renew subscription enabled and 1 TB or less of data will be renewed into the 1 TB plan for $59.99 per year. Those who don’t have auto-renew enabled, or who have more than 1 TB of data stored, will need to go to their account’s “Manage Storage page” to select one of the new plans.
Users will have a 180-day grace period to delete or bring their total content within the free quota if they choose not to renew into one of the new storage plans. But after that period, the company says that content over that limit will be deleted, starting with the most recent uploads first.
Amazon Prime members will still have access to unlimited photo storage as a part of their membership, and the company is offering 5 GB of additional storage for non-photo content like videos and documents. However, if the amount of non-photo content exceeds 5 GB, then Amazon will delete the most recent content until users are under their data limit.
Consumers shouldn't be too surprised by Amazon’s decision to eliminate unlimited data storage. The service was initially launched back in 2015 in an effort to compete with the likes of other services like Google Drive and Dropbox, but the creation of the two-tier system will undoubtedly be more lucrative in the long-run.
Consumers who want to learn more about the change and their options can do so by visiting Amazon’s FAQ section here.