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The Rise of Amazon’s Cloud Business

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Aug. 14 2018, Updated 8:00 a.m. ET

AWS continues to win large customers

Amazon Web Services (or AWS), its cloud computing unit, has impressed Amazon’s (AMZN) investors. Although other cloud providers like Microsoft and Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google are gaining market share, they aren’t taking share from the market-leading AWS, according to a recent report from Synergy Research.

According to the announcements that Amazon has released in recent months, AWS inked about ten large cloud contracts with prominent customers in the first half of 2018. In that period, Comcast (CMCSA), Verizon (VZ), GoDaddy (GDDY), and Shutterfly (SFLY) selected AWS as their preferred cloud provider. AWS has also recently won large contracts from 21st Century Fox and Major League Baseball.

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AWS overshadows competitors

These gains saw AWS end the second quarter holding a 34.0% share of the global cloud market, which is larger than the share held by its next four competitors combined. Microsoft held 13.0% of the global cloud market, up from 10.0% a year ago. Google’s market share expanded to 6.0% from 5.0% a year ago.

Revenues jumped 49%

AWS’s revenues rose 49.0% to $6.1 billion in the second quarter, with growth accelerating both from the first quarter and the second quarter of 2017. AWS accounted for 11.5% of Amazon’s overall revenues in the second quarter, up from 10.8% a year ago.

AWS generated revenues of $17.5 billion in 2017. KeyBanc analysts see its revenues growing to $42.0 billion by 2020, according to their July 23 note.

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