Google, Facebook Top Zenith’s Global Media Owners Ranking


Google and Facebook together accounted for 20 percent of global advertising expenditure across all media in 2016, according to the new edition of Zenith’s Top Thirty Global Media Owners, which ranks the companies at number one and two, respectively.

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

Also making the top ten are 21st Century Fox (six), CBS Corporation (seven) and Bertelsmann (ten). Viacom comes in at 11, followed by Time Warner at 12. Grupo Globo is at 19, Mediaset at 22, Discovery Communications at 23, ITV at 25, ProSiebenSat.1 Group at 26 and Scripps Networks Interactive at 29.

Alongside Google/Alphabet and Facebook, there are five more pure‐internet media owners in Zenith’s top 30: Baidu, Microsoft, Yahoo, Verizon and Twitter.

The fastest‐growing media owner in the list is Twitter, which increased its ad revenues by 734 percent between 2012 and 2016. Tencent is second, having grown by 697 percent over this period. Facebook is third, with 528-percent growth.

“The scale of the biggest platforms highlights the importance of building strong partnerships between agencies and media owners,” said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s global brand president. “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.”

“Zenith’s new ranking demonstrates just how much the internet advertising platforms are setting the pace for global adspend growth,” added Jonathan Barnard, the head of forecasting at Zenith. “Google and Facebook alone have accounted for almost two-thirds of global adspend growth since 2012.”

The Top Thirty Global Media Owners report is Zenith’s ranking of the world’s largest media companies. For this edition, the group updated its methodology to 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,” Zenith said.