USA Today chronicles Carbonite… Might need to check their math…

April 2, 2008 at 6:51 pm 3 comments

USA Today provided coverage of Carbonite’s early success in the online backup space. Interesting note for the other online storage firms – they seem to have had a lot of success marketing their product on the radio. Who knew?

There were also some interesting numbers reported. Carbonite claims 250,000 subscribers and that the average user backs up about 18 GB. Those sounds realistic and reasonable – however, USA Today also mentions that their datacenter manages “3.2 million terabytes” of data. Sorry USA Today, but that is just crazy. For one, it implies that the average user stores 12 TB instead of 18 GB – we’re pretty sure that’s a typo.

Also, it reports that Carbonite has spent about $10 million on radio ads. We assume their spending a lot online too (their ads are all over the paid search and affiliate networks), so it seems like their cost to acquire a user must be somewhere between $40/sub (absolute best) and $80/sub (assuming that the radio budget is 2/3 of their total spend – could they be allocating even more?).

Very interesting…


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ludy  |  June 26, 2008 at 9:10 am

    I’ve read on Wikipedia about remote backup and I tried some services, but the only one I bought is Memopal.

    Memopal offers a search engine online that helps me find archived documents in few seconds. Some Competitors have a search engine too but it’s very slow and usually it is not online.
    Memopal is online storage, online backup and file sharing services into one product.

    Memopal saves all versions of my documents. Moreover I have two computers, desktop ad laptop, and I can install Memopal on both buying only one license. It’s great!

  • 2. Jason Gadget  |  December 9, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    That’s an interesting number. If they are spending that much to acquire each customer, how can they hit their ROI goals? It only costs $49 for a one year subscription, and they are spending $80 for each customer?

    Good luck getting your money back, VCs!

  • 3. Maurice Volaski  |  May 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    There’s more to the errors than that. The article claimed they ran upload test in October of a 100GB hard drive and that it didn’t finish until late December, about 9 weeks.

    I don’t buy it that even such a test was conducted. Who’s going to start a test like and keep it going for so long without trying to figure out why it’s taking “forever”?

    Didn’t the 9 weeks, which if it finished in December, delay the article, which for some reason wasn’t published until April?

    And, of course, with a 2Mbps upload speed even not the full throughput, the whole thing should have taken less than 9 DAYS.


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