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Alphabet’s Google and Facebook control 20% of global ad spend

The fastest-growing media owner is Twitter, which increased its ad revenues by 734 per cent between 2012 and 2016. Tencent is second and Facebook is third fastest-growing media owner

Google and Facebook together accounted for 20 per cent of global advertising expenditure across all media in 2016, up from 11 per cent in 2012, says the new edition of Zenith’s Top 30 Global Media Owners. These two companies captured 64 per cent of all the growth in global ad spend between 2012 and 2016.

The report is Zenith’s unique ranking of the world’s largest media companies, and has been published since 2007. For this edition, the agency decided to update its methodology and focus purely on media owners’ revenues from advertising, excluding revenues from all other activities, which gives the true measure of their status in the global advertising market.

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Google (under its holding company Alphabet) is by some distance the largest media owner in the world, attracting US $79.4 billion in ad revenue in 2016, three times more than the second-largest – Facebook – which attracted US $26.9 billion. The largest traditional media owner is Comcast, which takes third place in the ranking with US $12.9 billion in ad revenue.

As the report stated in its quarterly Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, internet advertising has overtaken television to become the world’s largest advertising medium this year. Accordingly, digital platforms that are funded by internet advertising dominate the top 30 ranking. Google, Facebook, Baidu, Microsoft, Yahoo, Verizon and Twitter, the seven digital platforms, generated US $132.8 billion in internet ad revenue in 2016 – which is 73 per cent of all internet ad spend, and 24 per cent of global ad spend across all media.

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Verizon became a media owner in 2015 when it bought AOL, and if all goes to plan will become a much larger one when it acquires Yahoo later this year. Verizon takes 21st place in our current ranking; adding Yahoo to AOL would boost it to sixth.

The fastest-growing media owner in the list is Twitter, which increased its ad revenues by 734 per cent between 2012 and 2016. Tencent is second, having grown by 697 per cent over this period, and Facebook is third, with 528 per cent growth. Two other media owners have more than doubled in size between 2012 and 2016 – Baidu, which grew 190 per cent, and Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which grew 171 per cent.

Most of the media owners in the ranking – 20 out of 30 – are based in the US. The US dominates for several reasons – the US has the biggest ad market, US companies have invested the most in extending their reach abroad, and Silicon Valley innovation has powered the growth of internet advertising. China and Germany each have three media owners in the ranking (Baidu, Tencent and CCTV for China, and Bertelsmann, ProSiebenSat.1 and Axel Springer for Germany). Then there are four countries with one media owners each: France (JCDecaux), Brazil (Grupo Globo), Italy (Mediaset) and the UK (ITV).

“The scale of the biggest platforms highlights the importance of building strong partnerships between agencies and media owner. Brands need to deal with these platforms to communicate with consumers effectively and efficiently, and agencies need to ensure they do so on the best terms available,” said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s Global Brand President.

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Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting, Zenith, said, “Zenith’s new ranking demonstrates just how much the internet advertising platforms are setting the pace for global ad spend growth. Google and Facebook alone have accounted for almost two thirds of global ad spend growth since 2012.”

Ranking of top 30 global media owners 2017:

 

Rank

Media owner

Rank

Media owner

1

Alphabet

16

Advance Publications

2

Facebook

17

JCDecaux

3

Comcast

18

News Corporation

4

Baidu

19

Grupo Globo

5

The Walt Disney Company

20

CCTV

6

21st Century Fox

21

Verizon

7

CBS Corporation

22

Mediaset

8

iHeartMedia Inc.

23

Discovery Communications

9

Microsoft

24

TEGNA

10

Bertelsmann

25

ITV

11

Viacom

26

ProSiebenSat.1 Group

12

Time Warner

27

Sinclair Broadcasting Group

13

Yahoo

28

Axel Springer

14

Tencent

29

Scripps Networks Interactive

15

Hearst

30

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