Discontinuation of the Storj Free Tier

@BrightSilence Please file a support ticket to request manual upgrade to Pro Account if your legacy STORJ balance was at least $10 worth of tokens.

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I should probably have done that from the start, but I figured I’d flag it here in case the disappearing of my legacy balance is a bigger issue. Ticket is created now. No rush on it though. Thanks for your response.

May I ask, without the free tier, how do you complete with the like of every other centralized cloud storage?

For example, Google Cloud (5 GB), AWS Cloud (5 GB), and Backblaze B2 (10 GB), which are the direct competitors of Storj, all have their free tiers to offer.

Sure, with people already familiar to the service, it’s not a problem. I think this move could discourage new adoption, hence making all nodes less profitable due to a lower/stagnate usage overall. People would stick to what they’re familiar with, regardless of the pricing advantage of decentralized storage.

Speaking of the pricing advantage, Sia would be cheaper than Storj. How is it doing without free tier? How is the adoption? Are their nodes having more profits than Storj’s nodes?

I hope this is not the “shoot yourself in the foot” scenario. If 25 GB of free tier seems like too much offering, I think 5-10 GB seems like an appropriate amount.

I hope more information about this will come out soon.

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Speaking for myself, I don’t think a perpetual free service is of much value to the company. A free trial allows companies to test the service, and then engage with the Storj sales team for further discussion. Providing a perpetual free service just costs the company money with little benefit. Sure, someone who wants free storage will go to Backblaze for their 10gb of free storage. But if they are going to use more than that, is that 10gb going to be the deciding factor on which service they ultimately choose? Not likely. Most companies want/need specific features.

I can understand that removal of the free tier would potentially cause less node earnings due to a reduction in overall traffic. However, I think we need to wait and see what kind of impact the removal of the free tier causes for overall traffic.

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To put this differently and very mildly: prospective customers, for whom $0.63/month is a dealbreaker, are not the ones marketing strategy should be built around attracting.

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In general, I would ask why you’re arriving at this conclusion so late. About a year ago, offering 150 GB without any KYC seemed quite extreme. I recall one of your representatives mentioning here on the forum that there were Chia farmers using bots to create accounts, which seemed just crazy. On the other hand, I would add a disclaimer as I don’t have enough information to make an appropriate judgment, so, I’m not entirely sure if not offering any free tier at all is a good idea. The free tier is an important tool in a marketing toolbox.

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With the end-user market, e.g. Google One, OneDrive, iCloud, etc., free tier would play an important role of introducing the services (both direct and indirect services) for mass adoption. For example, it wouldn’t be too far fetch to assume that most are still using Google One’s free tier (15 GB) and have never go beyond that. I believe OneDrive and iCloud are essentially having the same mind as Google One.

But the availability of the free tier in this space would likely serve as a significant tool for testing and debugging the service. I doubt people who use Google Cloud, AWS Cloud, Backblaze B2, thus Storj, Sia, would expect to use the service for free forever. This could be the reason why Google One offers 15 GB for free, while Google Cloud only offers 5 GB, with other limitations also, as it only meant for testing/debugging.

Sure, the first free 150 GB offer is ridiculous. 25 GB could be too much. But not offering anything at all seems like an overlook. We might see the surge of Sia soon. Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve supported Storj for a long time. I wrote about Storj on my blog:

I will update my blog post again when this unclear situation is all over.

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I can only guess. As I wasn’t part of the decision making process.

I think a trial was deemed better because there is a lot of accounts that are opened and otherwise abandoned. We have to have some process in place to remove this dead data. There are other reasons as well, but whether or not things like misuse and technical issues are resolved or continue with a trial is currently unknown. But I also think that the company does things with marketing in mind, and the marketing team was likely engaged on this change and gave it the go ahead. The overall decisions that were made was that a trial was what was needed now, and the free tier was not.

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The only use of a free tier IMO is that people can use it for their own small amounts of data and then recommend the service to their boss if he asks, something along the lines “oh yeah, I know this company, I have been using them for a while, seems to work fine, we should use them”.

However, Storj repeatedly said that regular people are not the intended customer, only large companies, so, I guess, a free tier has less of a point than for someone like Google or Backblaze.

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A free tier get’s you people that you don’t want. Most of them will never go above the free tier. Additionally you’ll get lots of them. A trial on the other hand will get you serious people that’ll either become customers in the end or they’ll release the used storage sooner or later.

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A free trial would be more than enough, as @Bryanm said, there will be a free trial, which I hope to hear more about it soon.

I doubt there are a lot of free tier users on Google Cloud, AWS Cloud, or Backblaze B2, since Google One’s free tier would kill all of them. In fact, any end-user cloud storage would be much more usable for those free loaders than Google Cloud, AWS Cloud, or Backblaze B2.

My point is that Storj should offer something similar to its direct competitors, which is not meant to compete with the like of Google One, iCloud, OneDrive, etc. where free loaders reside.

Maybe, this idea could’ve ended all the speculation regarding the amount of free tier users on the network:

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Given users are also deleting their data at various rates does this not mean when both the Storj deletion and client deletions are taken together does this not mean that we could see some negative growth for a while?

It was mentioned above that the removal of the free data would be countered by new customer data.

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Does that mean old SNOs may lose some of that crusty free data they’ve been getting paid to store for years…

…and my new node gets a crack at the fresh stuff?

There is only one response… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Since payment for egress is now largely irrelevant that old crusty data pays pretty much the same as the new stuff…

Yes, except now we have both customer and Storj deletes happening at the same time again.
We have days of negative growth even now just with the customer deletes and now Storj will be adding to them.

I don’t see the promised high egress use cases either…

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Customers add and delete data. That is not predictable. The loss of the free tier data will be offset by added data.

You may have a net loss or a net gain depending on many factors including customer activity.

While I don’t know the amount of free tier data, after two+ years of having offered it, I would assume there is quite a bit However, once is is removed SNO growth will resume at the normal rate. Whatever that is, since customers decide when and how much to upload to the network.

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So, to summarise, the best we can hope for until all the data is removed is stagnant growth.

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It all comes down to that we need more customers.

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