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People using cloud services set to increase to 3.6 billion by 2018

The number of people using cloud services is set to increase to 3.6 billion by 2018, according to a recently published study.

According to the report released by Juniper Research, around 2.4 billion people currently use cloud-based services in one form or another. The researchers said that recent advances in cloud storage, music and games would propel this figure over the coming years.

The report also predicted that while cloud storage solutions struggle, the biggest growth will be in streaming services such as music or games. It named Spotify as having got in on this trend early, and argued that its speedy adoption of cloud streaming as a business model was accountable for its taking the largest chunk of revenue compared to games or storage.

But it wasn't all a rosy outlook from the report. The researchers warned that a huge gap was beginning to open up between revenue and profit for many key entrants in the cloud industry, making it difficult for many to make money from the cloud.

Spotify, for instance, has yet to make a profit, while open source software giant Ubuntu Ubuntu recently withdrew from the cloud storage space, calling the current price wars "unsustainable".

However, the study found that the cloud games market is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance following the re-launch of OnLive and the market entry of PlayStation into the cloud.

It argued that cloud provider should also embrace new technologies such as WebRTC and NFV(Network Functions Virtualisation) to increase margins.