Feb 24, 2016 · 2 minutes

“Raise your hand if your business runs on AWS.”

Yesterday afternoon, I was at eTail West in a room full of 2,000 or so mostly old world retailers. In case you’d thought the whole late 1990s Amazon running small businesses out of business thing was water under the bridge now that, yunno, we still have independent bookstores and all, you’d be wrong. These people still loathe-- and I mean loathe-- Amazon. I’ve never heard more about Jet.com in one two day period.

So asking that question is sort of like asking who secretly has tea parties with the devil. And yet, a decent number of hands went up. The murmuring around me was surprise it wasn’t most of the room. That could be because the room was mostly sales people and VPs and strategists and less the IT department. They may not know. Or it could have been shame.

The speaker went as apeshit as one can go at 10:30 in the morning on a brightly lit stage in Palm Desert. He explained to the room that their dollars contributed to the $2 billion in cash that allowed Amazon to decimate every other retailer with its low prices. He exhorted everyone in the room to move to Microsoft, Google or anyone else.

First off, Amazon was killing on price well before AWS. But I take his point. You can’t scream about Amazon ruining your industry then turn around and give them money.

But that’s how dominant AWS has been. Until, maybe, now.

Daniel Ek doesn’t seem to have the same worry. Despite YouTube being his biggest competitor, he announced yesterday that Spotify is switching to Google’s on demand services. It’s a huge win for one of Google’s biggest hires ever Diane Greene. Spotify cited better data tools as the big differentiator.

From Forbes:

That’s a high-profile and major validation for Google’s cloud offerings, which historically have trailed Amazon Web Services and Microsoft in the market. While Google’s data chops are, as Harteau writes, well known, Google has historically been limited by customer doubts as to how serious the Googleplex really was about its different cloud offerings. Amazon has its own ever-growing array of tools for customers to mix and match; Microsoft keeps adding to its own and enjoys the strength of a large, entrenched install base for Office 365 that helps keep its cloud in the conversation.

It’s not only a sign of how far the cloud infrastructure has come that a music streaming company can make this move with such confidence, but that AWS won’t be the no-brainer choice. Forrester expects this market to grow to an astounding $191 billion by 2020.

The Valley and Wall Street already trumpeted Google’s acquihire of board member Diane Greene as the head of its cloud business as a genius move and a sign it was getting serious about this business. In four years time, it could be crucial for Google’s next $100 billion, if Wired and Forrester are to be believed.

So yeah, a mini-retailer boycott likely won’t make a dent. But if you hate Amazon, at least there’s another viable place to go.