Comparison of the 5 Biggest Cloud Services for Ad Agency New Business

cloud storage, cloud computing, icloud, ad agencies, new business, online storage,

The best advice on where you should put your cloud content based on what you own and what your personal habits are.

The popularity of cloud based storage has soared in popularity. People’s appetites have dramatically shifted from having access to physical content to digital content delivered to multiple devices and that is good for those charged with new business because it has created a multiplicity of cloud based solutions.

People are more concerned about storing digital content. Plus they  want the ability to access it from any device or platform.  

In an online survey conducted by the Harrison Group for Deloitte:

  • 51% of Americans have experienced a computer or hard drive failure losing photos, movies, or documents.
  • 32% of respondents stated a desire to have an online media storage service they could access from any device.
  • 43% of respondents said they want the ability to move content to any device and platform easily and effectively.

If you are charged with new business it often means you are “going out on the road.” To be sure you have all that you need to work while traveling can difficult if you don’t plan ahead. Even when you do, you can often end up leaving important digital content to which you have no access. An even worse scenario would be to have a hard drive failure or someone stealing your laptop along with ALL of your important files.

Theses are three steps necessary to create your “custom” online file access and management system:  

  1. Know your goals, requirements, and what you are willing to spend
  2. Assess your existing document storage and management system
  3. Detailed cloud service vendor evaluations and recommendations

The multiplicity of cloud based storage solutions are great but can also be overwhelming.

The most helpful cloud service review and recommendations that I have found were from Dan Sung, online consumer technology journalist  and Pocket-lint features editor. Dan provides a helpful comparison of the five biggest and most popular cloud services: Amazon Cloud Drive, Apple iCloud, DropBox, Google Cloud Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive. He ranks them across a eight categories. These are the six categories that are most helpful to Fuel Line readers:

  • Space: how much space you get with each.
  • File Types: what you’re allowed to put into your allotted cloud space.
  • Ease of Use: where it’s been done the simplest.
  • Devices To Access from: how many devices you can access your files from and then there’s the question of how easy it is to do so.
  • Offline Access: what if you have no internet connection and how synchronisation works for each.
  • Cost: not only the actual pricing plans but the dollar-for-dollar value.

Pocket-lint’s ranking of each of the 5 cloud services in six primary usage categories:


1st: Dropbox – 18GB free/1TB+ max
2nd: Amazon Cloud Drive – 5GB free/1TB max
3rd: Google Cloud Drive – 5GB free/100GB (16TB) max + Office + 20,000 songs
3rd: SkyDrive – 7 (25)GB free/125GB max + Office
5th: Apple iCloud – 5GB free/55GB max + Office + any iTunes purchases

File Types

1st: Amazon Cloud Drive – Anything
1st: DropBox – Anything
3RD: Google Cloud Drive  – Anything (10GB max)
4TH: SkyDrive- Anything (2GB max)
5TH: Apple iCloud – Anything

Ease of Use

1st: Applie iCloud –  Like falling off a log simple
1st: Dropbox – Genius
1st: SkyDrive – Copied genius
1st: Google Cloud Drive – As above
5th: Amazon Cloud Drives – Slow but manageable

Devices to Access From

1st: Dropbox – Any, lots of clients but no Windows Phone
2nd: SkyDrive – Any, lots of clients but no Android or BB
3rd: Google Cloud Drive – Any, lots of clients but no iOS (yet), Windows Phone or BB
4th: Amazon Cloud Drive – Android, PC, Mac, any Flash device
5th: Apple iCloud – PC, Mac,iOS


1st: Dropbox – Yes
2nd: Google Cloud Drive – Yes
3rd: SkyDrive – Yes
3rd: Apple iCloud – Yes
5th: Amazon Cloud Drive – No


1st: SkyDrive – Free to 25GB, then $0.50/GB
2nd: Google Cloud Drive – Free to 5G, then $0.60/GB
3rd: Amazon Cloud Drive – Free up to 5GB, then $1/GB
4th: Dropbox – Free up to 18GB, then $2/GB or $0.80/GB
5th: Apple iCloud – Free up to 5GB (except iTunes match), then $2/GB


Beyond iCloud I use Dropbox extensively and highly recommend it. I invite you to read Dan’s article that includes his ‘boiler-plate’ summary for each of these cloud services  plus his best advice to fully customize your own system for cloud storage,  “Apple iCloud vs Google vs Amazon Cloud Drive vs Dropbox vs Microsoft SkyDrive.”

Additional articles that may be of interest:

photo credit: rwangsa via photo pin cc

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. Good review. We’ve been currently using Dropbox (paid version) and we’re happy with it. Fortunately, it has saved me a couple of times when doing SEO presentations and trainings on the road. Dropbox was also handy in receiving videos and other files from vendors. Also testing a few others, including Amazon. For client work, we use Basecamp. In some ways, it’s project management and a cloud rolled into one.

  2. Thanks Steve.

    I using both Dropbox and Basecamp. I agree that Basecamp is like project management and cloud in one. I just posted a presentation for a group and used Basecamp to provide the presentation decks plus resources and instructions.

    I always load my presentations to Dropbox as a safety net. I just purchased the MacDropAny to better sync files.

  3. Michael —

    Skydrive has upped its game, and there is an Android client now.

    Also, Skydrive allows a user to link in to the entire PC, so you can fetch files that weren’t necessarily in the specific Skydrive folder. Add to that the native and rich editing of Office docs in the browser, and it has become a formidable entrant.

  4. Michael Gass says:

    Thanks for the additional info Ike.

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