LONDON: Alphabet, Google's holding company, has increased its lead as the largest media owner in the world and now generates $60bn in media revenues, or 166% more than its nearest rival, Walt Disney.
This is one of the headline findings from the latest Top Thirty Global Media Owners report from ZenithOptimedia, the media agency network, which measured companies according to all sales derived from businesses that support advertising.
The report confirmed that Alphabet has steadily pulled away from Disney over the past few years – last year it was 136% larger than Disney, a 21% increase on the previous year – but also that the media landscape is now dominated by five digital giants which are displacing traditional media players.
These five digital companies – Alphabet/Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Baidu, the Chinese internet service – account for 19% of all global advertising across all media, with Google alone taking 12%.
Between them, the five digital giants generate $88bn in media revenue, or around a third (34%) of all the revenues made by the top 30 media owners, and that represents two-thirds (65%) of all internet advertising globally.
According to Zenith, digital adspend has grown 18% per year for the past five years while adspend across all other media has grown by just 0.6% a year, and it said these five companies have captured most of the gains from this rapid growth of digital.
"The big five digital media owners control most of the world's internet advertising market, and its rapid growth is propelling them up the ranking of the biggest global media owners," said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith's Head of Forecasting.
"The traditional media owners in our top 30 ranking have been scrambling to scale up their own digital businesses, to various degrees of success.
"As digital ad technology – such as programmatic buying – spreads to traditional media, it will further shake up the businesses of traditional media owners, but also provide them with new opportunities for growth."
In other findings, the report showed Facebook to be the fastest growing media owner after recording a 65% increase in media revenues since last year, while Baidu is the second-fastest (up 52%) followed by Alphabet (up 17%).
Apart from Alphabet and second-placed Walt Disney, the top 10 media owners are rounded out by Comcast (#3), 21st Century Fox (#4), Facebook (#5), Bertelsmann (#6), Viacom (#7), CBS Corporation (#8), Baidu (#9) and News Corporation (#10).
Data sourced from ZenithOptimedia; additional content by Warc staff