On August 1st, we're dropping the price for additional file storage* to just $1 per GB per month.
Additionally, we're no longer going to charge for storing your encoded media—so you'll get even more bang for that buck. But the service itself will remain the same: simple storage, backup, encoding, and streaming of your media files, together with tools that let your students watch videos and listen to audio right in Populi from almost any device.
We built Populi file storage so our customers would have a simple, inexpensive way to stream audio and video through their Populi courses. The infrastructure, know-how, and expense required to do this is out of reach for most small colleges. You'd need (at minimum)...
- Servers to store your files
- More servers to back them up
- Encoding into multiple formats so different devices can play them
- A content delivery network to optimize streaming wherever your students might be
- An easy way to incorporate the media where your students can find it
All that, and the time and expertise to make those things work together. Most schools just don't have the resources to pour into building that themselves. So we conceived of file storage as a way to let schools offload that challenge onto us and designed it accordingly—all anyone needs to do is upload a file and start using it. That's it.
When we released file storage last year, we priced it at $2.50 per GB, putting this service within the price range of many of our customers for the first time ever. We based our price on estimated costs, anticipated usage, and a little sandbagging to ensure it wouldn't send our families to the bread lines. With a year of hard data and customer feedback to go on (and some lower costs from our vendors), we were happy to discover that we could lower the price and make the service even more accessible to our schools.
But it's not just a price drop—that dollar now gets you "more" storage than you were getting before. To explain: the encoding process creates multiple copies of your media file to make sure any device can play it back. We were counting those additional copies against your file storage total. So, you might upload a 300 MB video lecture and discover that the one file had eaten up 1GB worth of file storage! Our newly-rejiggered calculations now exclude the encoded copies from your storage total. If you've uploaded a lot of video, the next time you look at your file storage total in the Account section of Populi, you'll likely see that you're using "less"—in some cases, a lot less—than you were before.
The net effect: where $2.50 used to cover, say, one hour-long video, now $1 lets you store and stream three hour-long videos**.
You'll see the new pricing reflected on your August 1st invoice, and the new storage calculation on your September 1st invoice.
* Additional file storage is anything over the limit included in your pricing plan.
** Assuming that each video weighs in at around 300 MB...