The pandemic assisted to drive cloud infrastructure in 2020 thanks to online games and remote work.
According to the research data analyzed and published by Comprar Acciones, Microsoft was the top cloud vendor globally. Its cloud revenue for the year amounted to $59.5 billion. In Q1 2020, the tech giant generated $13.3 billion, rising to $14.3 billion in Q2 2020, $15.2 billion in Q3 2020 and $16.7 billion in Q4 2020.
Microsoft’s annual figure was 31% higher than that of second-placed Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS raked in a total of $45.4 billion, with considerably lower quarterly increments compared to Microsoft.
Amazon’s revenue totaled $10.22 billion in Q1 2020, growing to $10.81 billion in Q2 2020, $11.6 billion in Q3 2020 and $12.74 billion in Q4 2020. The Q4 2020 figure marked an increase of 28% year-over-year (YoY) from $9.95 billion but was lower than analysts’ estimate of $12.83 billion.
Google Cloud moved up to the third position, taking the place of Salesforce, with $13 billion for the year.
Cumulatively, AWS and Google Cloud raked in $58.4 billion during the year, lower than Microsoft’s total.
Top Five Cloud Service Providers Accounted for 58% Market Share in Q4 2020
Q4 2020 saw particularly impressive results from the industry as a whole, with global cloud spending rising to $39.9 billion according to Canalys. Compared to Q4 2019, that marked a $10 billion or 32% YoY increase.
It also translated to a 10% increase quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and was the largest quarterly growth on record in dollar terms. During that period, Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud accounted for a 58% share of the industry’s revenue.
At the end of 2020, the three giants accounted for more than 50% of the world’s data centers. The number of data centers run by hyperscale entities rose to about 600 by the end of 2020, double the number they operated in 2015 according to Synergy Research.
Overall, the cloud market is considerably top-heavy. According to Synergy Group Research, the top five service providers accounted for an 80% share of the market.
Notably though, even with the exclusion of Microsoft and Amazon, Synergy points out that the rest of the market still grew at a 30% rate during the year. As such, there are growth opportunities even for the smaller providers within the space.
According to Canalys, Alibaba Cloud was the leading cloud service provider in the Asia Pacific region, China included. It posted an increase of 54% in revenue during Q4 2020. Other smaller players included IBM, Tencent, Oracle, NTT and Baidu among others.
For the full year, worldwide spending on cloud infrastructure shot up by 33% from $107 billion to $142 billion.
Google Cloud Revenue Shot up by 47% YoY Amid $5.6 Billion Annual Loss
During the year, Google Cloud cemented its position as the world’s fastest growing major service provider in the cloud industry. The segment’s revenue grew by 52% in Q1 2020, 43.2% in Q2 2020 and 44.8% in Q3 2020.
For the full year, the unit’s revenue grew by 47% from the 2019 total of $8.91 billion. In tandem with the annual revenue growth, however, Google Cloud also grew its losses significantly. It reported an operating loss of $5.61 billion during the year, up from $4.64 billion in 2019. Prior to that, in 2018, the segment had lost $4.35 billion on revenue amounting to $5.84 billion.
During Q4 2020, Google Cloud’s operating loss totaled $1.24 billion on $3.83 billion in revenue, outperforming analyst expectations of $3.81 billion. The losses are as a result of the fact that Google Cloud is still in investment mode.
Overall, Google’s Q4 2020 revenue amounted to $56.9 billion, up 23% from Q4 2019. The performance was attributed to robust results from its advertising unit.
Advertising revenue, which includes revenue from YouTube, accounted for an 81% share of the company’s total. Quarterly profit shot up by 43% to reach $15.2 billion, equivalent to $22.30 per share. In 2021, the company projects a $2.1 billion increase in annual operating profit.
2020 saw Amazon’s annual revenue shoot up by 38% to reach $386 billion, translating to an increase of more than $100 billion in the period. Its net profit skyrocketed by 84% YoY. In stark contrast to Google Cloud, AWS made a $3.56 billion profit in Q4 2020 and $13.53 billion for the full year. The segment accounted for more than 63% of Amazon’s total operating profit for 2020.
At the end of 2020, AWS had a backlog of around $50 billion in unfulfilled deals, a 68% increase YoY.