Top 100 U.S. Media Companies Generated $268 Billion in Revenue

Led by the surge in internet and cable, 2005 U.S. media revenue grew 6.6% to reach $268.48 billion for the 100 Leading Media Companies, reports AdAge. Time Warner retained its position as the No. 1 media company in the U.S. at $33.73 billion, up 0.9%, far ahead of the $22.08 billion from runner-up Comcast. Walt Disney ($17.17B), News Corp. ($12.56B), NBC Universal ($12.44B) round-up the top 5 media companies in the U.S.

Internet contributed $16.92 billion from advertising and subscription fees from 14 companies, up 20.5%. Ad Age does not count internet retail transactions in its totals.

Sector 2005 Rev 
Y/Y Growth #Companies
Internet $16.92 20.5% 14 
Cable/Satellite  $103.25 12.5% 31
Magazines $20.39 6.0% 30
News Papers $35.68 2.1% 35
Movies $19.27 0.3%  
Network TV $31.75 -3.5% 29

No. 19 Google and No. 21 Yahoo are neck in neck from their search ad totals of $3.71 billion and $3.67 billion in revenue, respectively. But Time Warner's AOL is at the head of the class at an estimated $6.32 billion in U.S. revenue. 

Cable, moving quickly to add phones to its bundle of services, accounted for 38.5% of Top 100 revenue: $71.85 billion from multiple system and direct broadcasting satellite operations at 14 Top 100 companies, up 12.6%, and $31.4 billion from cable networks from 17 companies, up 12.5%.

Cable TV network advertising in first-half 2006 is up only 2.6%, that follows 11% growth for full-year 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Analysts and other experts see the internet, whose advertising was up 18.9% in the same period, siphoning off cable advertising in the way cable robbed the broadcast TV ad crib.

TV seesawed to $31.75 billion, down 3.7% from 29 media companies. TV in this report is network and owned-and-operated stations. Through mid-year 2006, network and spot advertising have grown 5.4% in TV's fallow ground made fertile by the Winter Olympics and a renewal in political advertising.

Among the 35 media leaders with newspapers, those properties advanced only 2.1% to $35.68 billion in revenue.  The climate for newspapers continues to sour. In first-half 2006, local and national advertising fell 2.7%, which combined with stagnant circulation, have led many of the leading metro dailies to cut staff.

Magazines advanced 6% to $20.39 billion generated by magazines at 30 media companies on the list. The list gained two new magazine members: No. 66 Wenner Media, powered by the inclusion of Us Weekly, and No. 95 Bauer Publishing, led by In Touch Weekly

Media, defined in this annual report as information and entertainment distribution systems in which advertising is a key element, takes in the traditional media companies and also Hollywood as film clips have become product placements. Movies grew 0.3% to $19.27 billion in U.S. revenue. 

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