Backblaze, a company of which I’m quite fond, just sent out an email notice of a price increase to their computer backup service.1 Starting October 3, the new pricing for the Backblaze Computer Backup service is:
- $9 a month, or
- $99 a year, or
- $189 for two years
I’ve been a Backblaze user since they were charging $5 a month or $60 a year to back up a computer. In the years since, I’ve seen that number slowly tick up. $5 became $6 became $7. The price has now nearly doubled since I first subscribed.
In addition to the price increase, they’re also making their one-year extended version history feature available to all users for “free.” Previously, it was an additional $2 a month add-on. I’ve never used more than their 30-day version history, so this ridiculously long extra safety buffer is nice, but in my case, unnecessary. It feels like a way to boost revenue without actually spending anything.
This email, taken in its entirety, can also be read a different way: Backblaze subscribers will be receiving a feature that they may not need, and cannot refuse in exchange for a lower subscription price, while incurring a 29% price increase for monthly subscribers or a 41% increase for annual subscribers.
It’s an understandable bummer for the consumer. On one hand, data storage isn’t free,2 and they have other operating costs to consider. I’ll never begrudge anyone that reality. On the other hand, Backblaze launched its initial public offering (IPO) in November 2021. This means that people can buy and sell shares of the company, but also that there is now massive and relentless motivation for Backblaze to increase its value. It’ll allow the company to grow, but will also necessitate price increases like this one if it’s not growing enough or in the right way (according to the inscrutable stock market gods). Capitalism, baby!
It should go without saying, but I consider Backblaze an essential service; there’s nothing quite like it. I’ll still recommend it to everyone I know. There are few things in this world I value more than knowing my important data is reliably backed up and able to be restored. I’ll accept this most recent price increase with a well-earned grimace for that reason.