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Google has increased its lead as the world’s top media owner and shows no signs of slowing


By Jessica Goodfellow | Media Reporter

May 30, 2016 | 3 min read

Five digital giants now account for 19 per cent of all global advertising, of which Google alone commands 12 per cent, according to a report by ZenithOptimedia.


Alphabet, Google's holding company, now generates $60bn in media revenues, 166 per cent more than its nearest competitor, Walt Disney. That is a 21 per cent increase on the previous year.

These are the findings from ZenithOptimedia’s Top Thirty Global Media Owners report, which ranks the world’s largest media companies by media revenue. It found that the media landscape is increasingly dominated by five big players, making it hard for traditional media owners to claim their share of global advertising revenue.

The five digital companies, made up of Alphabet/Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Baidu, the Chinese internet service, command nearly one fifth of all global advertising spend.

They collectively generate $88bn in media revenue, about a third (34 per cent) of all the revenues made by the top 30 media owners. That represents two-thirds (65 per cent) of all internet advertising globally.

The five companies have gained the most from the rapid growth of digital, with Zenith claiming digital ad spend is up 18 per cent per year for the past five years. On the other side, ad spend across all other media has grown by just 0.6 per cent a year, it claims.

While Google has maintained its spot as number one, Facebook is fast approaching, posting a 65 per cent increase in media revenues since last year, making it is the fastest growing media owner.

Jonathan Barnard, Zenith's head of forecasting, said: "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.

"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."

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