LONDON: Google remains by some distance the world's leading media company but there are signs that the current order is set to change as a new report reveals two Chinese businesses have joined the top rankings.
The Top Thirty Global Media Owners report, from ZenithOptimedia, the media services network, ranked the world's largest media companies by media revenue (defined as all revenue deriving from businesses that support advertising, not just the advertising revenue itself).
CCTV, China's national state television company, and Baidu, the country's main search engine, entered the Top 30 ranking in 23rd and 28th place respectively. They joined Brazil's Globo as the only companies based in emerging markets on the list.
"The arrival of CCTV and Baidu in our Top 30 list is testament to the size and dynamism of the Chinese market," said Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at ZenithOptimedia. "But we expect a much greater presence from emerging market media owners once they start to expand their international operations in earnest," he added.
Most of the top media owners are already international in scope, with only seven in ZenithOptimedia's ranking devoted to one market. As well as Baidu, CCTV and Globo in their home markets, Cox Enterprises is largely restricted to the US, while Asahi Shimbun Company, Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings and Fuji Media Holdings are all focused on Japan.
Google, the top media owner, had revenues 47% higher than the second‐largest, DirecTV. The report noted that this gap had widened from 39% in the 2013 edition, as Google's core search function benefited from the rapid rise in search volumes from smartphones and tablets.
Disney had overtaken News Corporation to secure third place after News Corporation split into two separate operations. One of these – 21st Century Fox, which holds the film and television interests – ranked fourth, while News Corporation retained the print interests and was still large enough to rank 12th.
Time Warner is likewise set to spin off its print division, but while the remaining television and film operations will keep it in sixth position in the rankings, magazine publisher Time Inc will not place within the Top 30.
The rest of the top ten include Comcast in fifth, Cox Enterprises in seventh (up one place from 2013), BSkyB in eighth (up two places), Bertelsmann in ninth (down two places) and CBS Corporation in tenth (down one place).
Data sourced from ZenithOptimedia; additional content by Warc staff