Staff Reporters
May 2, 2017

Google and Facebook own 20 percent of media spend

On Zenith's global list of the top media owners, Baidu lands in fourth spot, Tencent in 14th and CCTV in 20th.

Google and Facebook own 20 percent of media spend

Google and Facebook together not only accounted for 20 percent of global advertising spend across all media in 2016, but also captured 64 percent of all growth in global adspend between 2012 and 2016, according to the latest edition of Zenith’s Top Thirty Global Media Owners, published today.

The two behemoths have grown their share of global adspend from about a tenth (11 percent) in 2012 to a fifth in 2016.

Tencent, a new addition to the list, ranks as the second fastest-growing media owner, having increased ad revenue by 697 percent between 2012 and 2016. Twitter, also new to the list this year, tops the growth list, with a 734 percent increase over the five-year span, while Facebook is third with 528 percent growth. Baidu grew ad revenue by 190 percent in the same period.

Google holding company Alphabet outdistances Facebook by a three-to-one margin in revenue, with US$79.4 billion in ad revenue in 2016, compared to Facebook's $26.9 billion. The third spot, with $12.9 billion in ad revenue, belongs to US-based Comcast, which was originally a cable-TV operator but now owns NBCUniversal.

Zenith noted in a release that as internet advertising has overtaken TV to become the world’s largest advertising medium, the top 30 includes seven "pure-internet media owners": Alphabet, Facebook, Baidu, Microsoft, Yahoo, Verizon and Twitter. Between them, these seven generated US$132.8 billion in internet ad revenue in 2016—73 percent of all internet adspend, and 24 percent of global adspend across all media. It's unclear why Verizon, which is primarily a mobile-network operator, would be considered a "pure" internet company while Tencent was not, but the point holds true regardless.

Here is Zenith's complete 2016 list:

  1. Alphabet
  2. Facebook
  3. Comcast
  4. Baidu
  5. The Walt Disney Company
  6. 21st Century Fox
  7. CBS Corporation
  8. iHeartMedia Inc.
  9. Microsoft
  10. Bertelsmann
  11. Viacom
  12. Time Warner
  13. Yahoo
  14. Tencent
  15. Hearst
  16. Advance Publications
  17. JCDecaux
  18. News Corporation
  19. Grupo Globo
  20. CCTV
  21. Verizon
  22. Mediaset
  23. Discovery Communications
  24. TEGNA
  25. ITV
  26. ProSiebenSat.1 Group
  27. Sinclair Broadcasting Group
  28. Axel Springer
  29. Scripps Networks Interactive
  30. Twitter

Zenith has published the ranking since 2007 but changed its methodology starting with this edition to focus purely on revenues from advertising, excluding revenue from other activities. Among the companies dropping off since last year were three Japanese media owners, Asahi Shimbun, Fuji Media Holdings and Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings. 

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