With Spotify, Google Cloud Platform gets its anchor all-in customer

Spotify to Google Cloud Platform may become what Netflix was to Amazon Web Services: An all clear signal to enterprises to move more workloads to the cloud provider.

Spotify, which is selling its share publicly, disclosed that it is moving its infrastructure completely to Google Cloud Platform in an all-in bet that rhymes with the Amazon Web Services-Netflix relationship.

When I read Spotify's chat about cloud infrastructure in its Security and Exchange Commission filing, there's a flashback to 2010 to 2012 with Netflix and AWS. Netflix moved to AWS infrastructure and opened a door to more enterprise customers.

Like Google Cloud Platform and Spotify, the two companies are rivals and partners. The companies will compete on music services, but there's a firewall between the enterprise and consumer side to support a cloud relationship.

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Sound familiar? Netflix and Amazon compete. But Netflix uses AWS. It's a relationship that has worked for both sides and Netflix started the "all-in" movement for AWS. Netflix's impact on AWS went well beyond fees. Netflix is one big reason it was safe for other CIOs--even in retail--to ponder using AWS.

In 2012, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said:

We put just as much care into Netflix on AWS as we do Amazon retail. We may compete on Prime instant video, but we bust our butts every day for Netflix on AWS. The whole point of what we are doing is to standardize that layer. Amazon retail gets the benefit of standardizing that layer.

Spotify represents that anchor customer for Google Cloud Platform. Spotify, an AWS customer for now too, said the following:

We have designed our software and computer systems to utilize data processing, storage capabilities, and other services provided by GCP. Currently, we are in the process of transitioning all of our data storage (including personal data of Users and music data licensed from rights holders) and computing from our own servers to GCP. We cannot easily switch our GCP operations to another cloud provider, and any disruption of, or interference with, our use of GCP could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. While the consumer side of Google competes with us, we do not believe that Google will use the GCP operation in such a manner as to gain competitive advantage against our Service.

I'm willing to bet that Spotify becomes Google Cloud Platform's Netflix. Spotify will sound the all-clear for other enterprises to move more workloads to Google Cloud Platform. Ultimately, a strong Google Cloud Platform means more competition and lower infrastructure costs over time as companies use multiple cloud providers.

Here's a look at Spotify's core metrics:

spotify-numbers.png

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