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Google is top global media owner

News, 12 May 2015

LONDON: Growing adoption of smart devices has helped Google to cement its dominance as the world's largest media owner, according to new global rankings.

The latest Top Thirty Global Media Owners report from ZenithOptimedia, the media communications group, found Google is now 136% bigger than Disney, the world's second-largest media owner, in terms of media revenues.

It is also larger than Disney and the third-largest (Comcast) combined, based on the report's definition of media revenue as all revenues deriving from businesses that support advertising.

Facebook is another beneficiary of rising sales of smartphones and tablets and it is the fastest growing media owner covered in the report, having increased its revenues by 63% over the past year.

That propels Facebook into tenth place in a list of media owners dominated by American companies, such as 21st Century Fox (#4), CBS Corporation (#5), Viacom (#7), Time Warner (#8) and News Corp (#9).

The only non-American company in the top ten is Germany's Bertelsmann (#6), although several Asian media groups rank in the top thirty.

Most notable is Chinese search engine Baidu, often described as China's equivalent of Google, with media revenues up 43% over the year to make it the second-fastest growing media company after Facebook.

Japanese newspaper group Asahi Shimbun ranks 16th, Fuji Media Holdings is in 19th place, while China's national state TV company, CCTV, comes in 20th after more than tripling in size over the past decade.

Meanwhile, Brazil's Grupo Globo is the third-fastest growing media company in the world and is ranked 17th.

Commenting on the findings, Jonathan Barnard, ZenithOptimedia's head of forecasting, said: "The rapid growth of digital media and emerging ad markets has strengthened the position of media owners such as Google, Facebook, Baidu and Globo, at the expense of traditional media owners in developed markets.

"The top digital media owners currently maintain a strong grip on the digital ad market, but they face the constant threat of displacement by disruptive innovators.

"While some emerging market media owners face challenges in expanding their businesses in the short term, we expect to see more media owners from emerging markets enter the top 30 over the next few years."

Data sourced from ZenithOptimedia; additional content by Warc staff