CLOUD STORAGE SERVICE Sugarsync has announced the end of its free service tier.
From 8 February 2014, SugarSync will move to a paid only service, ending its 2GB free service that had been competing with Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive.
"There are many companies in this space that are giving away free storage, however, most of these companies will not be viable. We are already in a solid financial position and this shift will further strengthen our business," said Sugarsync CEO Mike Grossman.
Grossman's prediction of failure for the competition apparently expressed Sugarsync's desire to be seen as a serious business tool, and in marketing terms the shift might be seen as a ploy to add a perceived premium to a product that is fundamentally similar to everyone else's.
In the meantime, prospective Sugarsync customers can still begin a 90 day trial of the 5GB service or a 30 day trial of the 60GB service, however free customers will be urged to subscribe to a monetised plan or download and migrate quickly, and are expected to be offered discounts.
Meanwhile, the top tier plan at $55 per month, which offers additional services including phone support and remote wiping, signals the context in which Sugarsync wishes to be seen.
Grossman added, "This change will allow us to better serve loyal customers and expand our service offerings. We're excited about the next stage in our growth and confident that our customers and new users alike will achieve greater value through these enhancements."
In a crowded marketplace where up until now most cloud services offer a 2GB free service that most customers stick with, Sugarsync seems to believe that there's money to be made by kicking out the riff-raff and seeking a higher class of customers with deeper pockets. µ