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How Big Tech Makes Their Billions

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How Big Tech Makes Their Billions in 2020

How Big Tech Makes Their Billions

The world’s largest companies are all in technology, and four out of five of those “Big Tech” companies have grown to trillion-dollar market capitalizations.

Despite their similarities, each of the five technology companies (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Alphabet) have very different cashflow breakdowns and growth trajectories. Some have a diversified mix of applications and cloud services, products, and data accumulation, while others have a more singular focus.

But through growth in almost all segments, Big Tech has eclipsed Big Oil and other major industry groups to comprise the most valuable publicly-traded companies in the world. By continuing to grow, these companies have strengthened the financial position of their billionaire founders and led the tech-heavy NASDAQ to new record highs.

Unfortunately, with growth comes difficulty. Data-use, diversity, and treatment of workers have all become hot-button issues on a global scale, putting Big Tech on the defensive with advertisers and governments alike.

Still, even this hasn’t stopped the tech giants from (almost) all posting massive revenue growth.

Revenues for Big Tech Keep Increasing

Across the board, greater technological adoption is the biggest driver of increased revenues.

Amazon earned the most in total revenue compared with last year’s figures, with leaps in almost all of the company’s operations. Revenue from online sales and third-party seller services increased by almost $30 billion, while Amazon Web Services and Amazon Prime saw increased revenues of $15 billion combined.

The only chunk of the Amazon pie that didn’t increase were physical store sales, which have stagnated after previously being the fastest growing segment.

Big Tech Revenues (2019 vs. 2018)

CompanyRevenue (2018)Revenue (2019)Growth (YoY)
Apple$265.6 billion$260.2 billion-2.03%
Amazon$232.9 billion$280.5 billion20.44%
Alphabet$136.8 billion$161.9 billion18.35%
Microsoft$110.4 billion$125.8 billion13.95%
Facebook$55.8 billion$70.8 billion26.88%
Combined$801.5 billion$899.2 billion12.19%

Services and ads drove increased revenues for the rest of Big Tech as well. Alphabet’s ad revenue from Google properties and networks increased by $20 billion. Meanwhile, Google Cloud has seen continued adoption and grown into its own $8.9 billion segment.

For Microsoft, growth in cloud computing and services led to stronger revenue in almost all segments. Most interestingly, growth for Azure services outpaced that of Office and Windows to become the company’s largest share of revenue.

And greater adoption of services and ad integration were a big boost for ad-driven Facebook. Largely due to continued increases in average revenue per user, Facebook generated an additional $20 billion in revenue.

Comparing the Tech Giants

The one company that didn’t post massive revenue increases was Apple, though it did see gains in some revenue segments.

iPhone revenue, still the cornerstone of the business, dropped by almost $25 billion. That offset an almost $10 billion increase in revenue from services and about $3 billion from iPad sales.

However, with net income of $55.2 billion, Apple leads Big Tech in both net income and market capitalization.

Big Tech: The Full Picture

CompanyRevenue (2019)Net Income (2019)Market Cap (July 2020)
Apple$260.2 billion$55.2 billion$1.58 trillion
Amazon$280.5 billion$11.6 billion$1.44 trillion
Alphabet$161.9 billion$34.3 billion$1.02 trillion
Microsoft$125.8 billion$39.2 billion$1.56 trillion
Facebook$70.8 billion$18.5 billion$665.04 billion
Combined$899.2 billion$158.8 billion$6.24 trillion

Bigger Than Countries

They might have different revenue streams and margins, but together the tech giants have grown from Silicon Valley upstarts to global forces.

The tech giants combined for almost $900 billion in revenues in 2019, greater than the GDP of four of the G20 nations. By comparison, Big Tech’s earnings would make it the #18 largest country by GDP, ahead of Saudi Arabia and just behind the Netherlands.

Big Tech earns billions by capitalizing on their platforms and growing user databases. Through increased growth and adoption of software, cloud computing, and ad proliferation, those billions should continue to increase.

As technology use has increased in 2020, and is only forecast to continue growing, how much more will Big Tech be able to earn in the future?

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Technology

The 50 Most Visited Websites in the World

Just three websites get 152 billion visits monthly, outpacing the rest of the internet. Here, we rank the most visited websites worldwide.

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Most Visited Websites

The 50 Most Visited Websites In the World

View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.

If you spend any time online, it’s likely you’re familiar with some of the world’s most visited websites. On today’s internet, a handful of giants have unmatched dominance.

Top Three Websites (Monthly visits):

  • Google: 92.5 billion
  • YouTube: 34.6 billion
  • Facebook: 25.5 billion

Together, the top three websites rake in 152 billion visits monthly, outpacing the next 47 websites combined. What’s more, as the pandemic transformed everything from the way we work, learn, communicate, and shop—a majority of these activities migrated online.

In this new visualization, we look at the most visited websites around the world, drawing data from SimilarWeb (as of November 2020).

The Top Global Websites

Servicing over two trillion search queries annually through its network, Alphabet-owned Google ranks highest with its flagship domain, Google.com. Google derives approximately 80% of its earnings from ad revenues.

RankWebsite
Monthly Visitors
Country of Origin
Category
1Google.com92.5BU.S.Search Engines
2Youtube.com34.6BU.S.TV Movies and Streaming
3Facebook.com25.5BU.S.
Social Networks and Online Communities
4Twitter.com6.6BU.S.
Social Networks and Online Communities
5Wikipedia.org6.1BU.S.Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
6Instagram.com6.1BU.S.
Social Networks and Online Communities
7Baidu.com5.6BChinaSearch Engines
8Yahoo.com3.8BU.S.News and Media
9xvideos.com3.4BCzech RepublicAdult
10pornhub.com3.3BCanadaAdult
11Yandex.ru3.2BRussiaSearch Engines
12Whatsapp.com3.1BU.S.
Social Networks and Online Communities
13Amazon.com2.9BU.S.Marketplace
14xnxx.com2.9BCzech RepublicAdult
15Zoom.us2.7BU.S.
Computers Electronics and Technology
16Live.com2.5BU.S.Email
17Netflix.com2.4BU.S.TV Movies and Streaming
18Yahoo.co.jp2.4BJapanNews and Media
19Vk.com1.8BRussia
Social Networks and Online Communities
20Reddit.com1.6BU.S.
Social Networks and Online Communities
21Office.com1.6BU.S.Programming and Developer Software
22Naver.com1.5BSouth KoreaNews and Media
23Pinterest.com1.3BU.S.
Social Networks and Online Communities
24Discord.com1.2BU.S.
Social Networks and Online Communities
25Linkedin.com1.2BU.S.
Social Networks and Online Communities
26Cnn.com1.2BU.S.News and Media
27xhamster.com1.2BCyprusAdult
28Microsoft.com1.1BU.S.Programming and Developer Software
29Mail.ru1.1BRussiaEmail
30Globo.com1.0BBrazilNews and Media
31Bing.com1.0BU.S.Search Engines
32Twitch.tv1.0BU.S.
Video Games Consoles and Accessories
33Google.com.br1.0BBrazilSearch Engines
34QQ.com981.3MChinaNews and Media
35
Microsoftonline.com
968.9MUnknownProgramming and Developer Software
36ebay.com957.1MU.S.Marketplace
37Msn.com885.4MU.S.News and Media
38News.yahoo.co.jp839.8MJapanNews and Media
39Duckduckgo.com819.4MU.S.Search Engines
40Ok.ru764.9MRussia
Social Networks and Online Communities
41Walmart.com718.6MU.S.Marketplace
42Bilibili.com686.0MChinaAnimation and Comics
43Tiktok.com663.2MChina
Social Networks and Online Communities
44Paypal.com657.2MU.S.Financial Planning and Management
45Google.de624.5MGermanySearch Engines
46Amazon.co.jp619.2MJapanMarketplace
47Aliexpress.com611.0MChinaMarketplace
48Amazon.de608.8MGermanyMarketplace
49Rakuten.co.jp593.4MJapanMarketplace
50Amazon.co.uk579.7MUnited KingdomMarketplace

Coming in second, social networking platform Facebook has a user base of 2.7 billion. On average, users spend 34 minutes on the site daily, while 36% of users say it’s also where they get their news—higher than any other social network.

As the leading search engine in China, Baidu (#7) received 5.6 billion visitors in November. Baidu is also branching out its business— venturing into electric vehicles (EVs) in a partnership with China-based automaker Geely.

As video conferencing vaulted in demand during the pandemic, Zoom (#15), launched into the most visited websites with 2.7 billion visitors monthly. Similarly, TikTok (#43) became a freshly minted addition.

The Most Visited Websites, By Country of Origin

With 27 sites on the list, the U.S. remains a dominant player. While its reach is highly concentrated on a global level, just a handful of companies own a majority of these sites.

Most Visited Websites by Country of Origin GIF
See the static version of each regional graphic here.

Microsoft (#28), for instance, owns seven of the top sites in the world including LinkedIn (#25) and Live.com (#16). Amazon (#13), on the other hand owns five including Twitch.tv (#32), along with popular Amazon-focused domains in Japan, U.K., and Germany.

China holds five top websites: Baidu (#7), QQ (#34), Bilibili (#42), TikTok (#43), and AliExpress (#47). The Tencent-owned QQ.com, ranks as the top news site in China, with over 981 million monthly visits. Like WeChat, QQ also provides a popular messaging platform.

Just four of the most visited websites globally are based in both Russia and Japan, while the rest of the world account for 10 top sites altogether.

ℹ️ Where’s WeChat? China’s most prolific platform is primarily app-based, so the company’s website doesn’t make this global top 50 list.

Reaching New Heights

While global internet patterns are clearly dominated by a few titans, what can we make of their recent traffic growth?

Between June 2019 and November 2020, Google’s monthly visitors increased 52.9%. Among the most visited websites globally, this rate of growth falls only behind Instagram (#6) at 89.1% and Twitter (#4) at 67.1%.

top 5 most visited websites traffic growth

Wikipedia (#5), a non-profit website that originated in 2001 by Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales realized over 30% growth.

While large tech companies have only accelerated their market share—Google makes up roughly 90% of the search ad market—several regulatory bodies are placing greater scrutiny on them. An October 2020 antitrust report suggested that Big Tech is in fact anti-competitive, drawing comparisons with oil tycoons of the 19th and 20th centuries.

With these key forces in mind, it raises a critical question: is there a limit to their growth?

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The World’s Top Car Manufacturers by Market Capitalization

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The World’s Top Car Manufacturers by Market Cap

View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.

Ever since Apple and other Big Tech companies hit a market capitalization of $1 trillion, many sectors are revving to follow suit—including the automotive industry.

But among those car brands racing to reach this total valuation, some are closer to the finish line than others. This visualization uses data from Yahoo Finance to rank the world’s top car manufacturers by market capitalization.

What could this spell for the future of the automotive industry?

A special hat-tip to Brandon Knoblauch for compiling the original, regularly-updated spreadsheet.

The World’s Top Car Manufacturers

It’s clear one company is pulling far ahead of the pack. In the competition to clinch this coveted title, Tesla is the undoubted favorite so far.

The electric vehicle (EV) and clean energy company first became the world’s most valuable car manufacturer in June 2020, and shows no signs of slowing its trajectory.

RankCompanyMarket Cap (US$B)Country
#1Tesla$795.8🇺🇸 U.S.
#2Toyota$207.5🇯🇵 Japan
#3Volkswagen$96.7🇩🇪 Germany
#4BYD$92.7🇨🇳 China
#5NIO$89.5🇨🇳 China
#6Daimler$72.8🇩🇪 Germany
#7General Motors$71.3🇺🇸 U.S.
#8BMW$54.2🇩🇪 Germany
#9Stellantis$54.2🇳🇱 Netherlands
#10Ferrari$52.5🇮🇹 Italy
#11Honda$46.9🇯🇵 Japan
#12Hyundai$46.8🇰🇷 South Korea
#13SAIC$45.2🇨🇳 China
#14Geely$39.5🇨🇳 China
#15Ford$39.4🇺🇸 U.S.
#16Xpeng$33.9🇨🇳 China
#17Maruti Suzuki$33.1🇮🇳 India
#18Li Auto$29.5🇨🇳 China
#19Suzuki$23.7🇯🇵 Japan
#20Nissan$20.1🇯🇵 Japan
#21Subaru$15.2🇯🇵 Japan
#22Changan$14.6🇨🇳 China
#23Mahindra$13.9🇮🇳 India
#24Renault$12.0🇫🇷 France

All data as of January 15, 2021 (9:30AM PST)

Tesla’s competitive advantage comes as a result of its dedicated emphasis on research and development (R&D). In fact, many of its rivals have admitted that Tesla’s electronics far surpass their own—a teardown revealed that its batteries and AI chips are roughly six years ahead of other industry giants such as Toyota and Volkswagen.

The Green Revolution is Underway

The sheer growth of Tesla may spell the inevitability of a green revolution in the industry. Already, many major brands have followed in the company’s tracks, announcing their own ambitious plans to add more EVs to their vehicle line-ups.

Here’s how a selection of car manufacturers are embracing the electric future:

Toyota: Ranked #2

The second-most valuable car manufacturer in the world, Toyota is steadily ramping up its EV output. In 2020, it produced 10,000 EVs and plans to increase this to 30,000 in 2021.

Through this gradual increase, the company hopes to hit an expected target of 500,000 EVs by 2025. Toyota also aims to debut 10 new models internationally to achieve this goal.

Volkswagen: Ranked #3

By 2025, Volkswagen plans to invest $86 billion into digital and EV technologies. Considering the car manufacturer generates the most gross revenue per second of all automakers, it’s no wonder Volkswagen is looking to the future in order to keep such numbers up.

The company is also well-positioned to ride the wave of a potential consumer shift towards EVs in Europe. In response to the region’s strict emissions targets, Volkswagen upped its planned sales proportions for European hybrid and EV sales from 40% to 60% by 2030.

BYD and Nio: Ranked #4-5

China jumped on the electric bandwagon early. Eager to make its mark as a global leader in the emerging technology of lithium ion batteries (an essential component of any EV), the Chinese government handed out billions of dollars in subsidies—fueling the growths of domestic car manufacturers BYD and Nio alike.

BYD gained the interest and attention of its billionaire backer Warren Buffett, while Nio is China’s response to Tesla and an attempt to capture the EV market locally.

General Motors: Ranked #7

Also with a 2025 target year in mind, General Motors is investing $27 billion into electric and fully autonomous vehicles. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too—the company also hopes to launch 30 new fully electric vehicles by the same year.

One particular factor is giving GM confidence: its new EV battery creations. They will be able to extend the range of its new EVs to 400 miles (644km) on a single charge, at a rate that rivals Tesla’s Model S.

Stellantis: Ranked #9

In a long-anticipated move, Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot S.A. finalized their merger into Stellantis N.V. on January 16, 2021.

With the combined forces and funds of a $52 billion deal, the new Dutch-based car manufacturer hopes to rival bigger brands and race even more quickly towards the electric shift.

Honda: Ranked #11

Speaking of fast-paced races, Honda has decided to bow out of future Formula One (F1) World Championships. As these competitions were usually a way for the company to show off its engineering prowess, the move was a surprising one.

However, there’s a noble reason behind this decision. Honda is choosing instead to focus on its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050. To do so, it’ll be shifting its financial resources away from F1 and towards R&D into fuel cell vehicle (FCV) and battery EV (BEV) technologies.

Ford: Ranked #15

Ford knows exactly what its fans want. In that regard, its electrification plans begin with its most popular commercial cars, such as the Mustang Mach-E SUV. This is Ford’s major strategy for attracting new EV buyers, part of a larger $11.5 billion investment agenda into EVs through 2022.

While the car’s specs compare to Tesla’s Model Y, its engineers also drew from the iPhone and Netflix to incorporate an infotainment system and driver profiles to create a truly tech-first specimen.

Speeding into the Horizon

As more and more companies enter the racetrack, EV innovation across the entire industry may power the move to lower overall costs, extend the total range of vehicles, and put any other concerns by potential buyers to rest.

While Tesla is currently in the best position to become the first car manufacturer to reach the $1 trillion milestone, how long will it be for the others to catch up?

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