Google dominates media with $50.5bn of advertising revenues


Alan Tovey Industry Editor

May 11, 2015

Our dependence on web search highlighted by new report ranking the world’s top 30 media businesses – but Facebook is catching up

The growing popularity of mobile devices has helped Google increase its dominance of global advertising revenues, with the web search giant’s income from media spending more than twice its nearest competitor.

The Silicon Valley giant had media revenues of $50.6bn (£32.8bn) in 2013/14 according to new research, dwarfing the next largest player, the Walt Disney Company, at $20.3bn.

ZenithOptimedia’s annual industry round-up ranks companies by media revenues, which it defines as those from businesses which support advertising – such as television broadcasting, newspaper publishing, web search and social media. It also includes other revenues from these companies, such sales from magazine circulations.

Top-ranked Google may have grown its media revenue by 16pc over the year, helped by people increasingly accessing the web from smartphones and tablets, but 10th placed Facebook is also benefiting from the trend.

The social media website’s media revenues rose by 63pc in the year to $7bn, moving it up 14 places on the previous report’s position and making it the fastest-growing of the 30 businesses ranked. According to ZenithOptimedia, Facebook accounted for over a quarter of all advertising spending on mobile devices.

“Google has benefited from the rising sales of smartphones and tablets, making its central search function available to consumers on the move, allowing them to view content at times and places most convenient for them,” the report said.

“But the main beneficiary of the transition to mobile has been Facebook. It has actively embraced mobile technology in order to encourage its users to visit it regularly and frequently throughout the day, while designing its ads to blend seamlessly into the content feed.”

With media revenues of $17.8bn last year, Comcast was ranked third, but such is Google’s dominance that it is still bigger than Disney and Comcast combined.

In fourth position was 21st Century Fox at $17.6bn, followed by CBS at $11bn.

European giant Bertelsmann is the highest-ranked non-US based business. The owner of the RTL radio and TV companies as well Gruner + Jahr magazines and book publisher Random House had revenues of of $10.6bn.

ITV, which produces shows including Mr Selfridge and Dancing on Ice, pictured left, was the only UK business to make the top 30, ranking 27th with annual revenues of $3bn.

The growing importance and rate of change in the Chinese economy was highlighted by the performance of Baidu – the country’s equivalent of Google – whose media income rose by 43pc over the year to $5.1bn, putting it in 14th place.

This article was written by Alan Tovey Industry Editor from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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