Chinese search giant Baidu is the second fastest growing of the world’s major media owners, just behind social network giant Facebook, according to a report by media agency Zenith.
Baidu’s media revenue grew by 52% over the last year, while Facebook’s media revenue was up by 65% for the year, according to the study, which positions Alphabet – Google’s holding company – as the world’s biggest media company.
Google is 166% bigger than the second biggest media company, Walt Disney, with media revenues – which have grown by 17% year on year – worth $60bn.
The world’s 30 biggest media owners. Source: Zenith
The five digital companies in the top 30 – Alphabet, Facebook, Baidu, Yahoo (which, despite its well publicised troubles, rose three places up the table, to 15th) and Microsoft – generated US$88bn in media revenue, which is 34% of all the top 30, and constitutes just under two thirds (65%) of the global internet ad market.
While digital adspend has grown at an average of 18% a year for the past five years, ad spend across all other media has grown by just 0.6% a year, the study highlighted.
Nearly half of the top 30 media owners have lost media revenues compared to last year, although in two cases this is because the companies have disposed of some of their media assets, with Time Warner divesting its magazine publishing arm and CBS cutting loose its outdoor business.
“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.”
Zenith defines media revenue as all revenue coming from businesses that support advertising. The report covers the financial year 2014.