10 Largest Media Companies in the World

Media shapes the very fabric of society by influencing what people think and how they spend their time. Media companies produce everything from newspapers, magazines, and books to movies and advertisements. As a result, they often grow to massive sizes and play a major role in our economy.

So just how much money can such influential and profitable companies make? Today we’ll be looking at 10 of the largest media companies in the world and ranking them according to revenue. We’ll also learn some cool facts about what each company has to offer.

  1. News Corp

Revenue: $6.86 billion
Headquarters Location: New York, USA
Year Founded: 1980
Number of Employees: 28,000

News Corp  Source: wikimedia.org

This media company was founded by Keith Rupert Murdoch, an Australian publisher. He first made it big through sensationalist news in an Australian newspaper chain which he often personally wrote headlines for. The News Corporation encompassess household names such as The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and HarperCollins. This company sells an astounding average of 2.64 million issues of The Wall Street Journal alone!

Did you know? 

Keith Rupert Murdoch became extraordinarily successful and has been said to own “a little bit of everything.”

  1. Baidu

Revenue: $7.895 billion
Headquarters Location: Shanghai, China
Year Founded: 2000
Number of Employees: 45,887

Baidu  Source: wikimedia.org

While most people associate Baidu with its AI and search engine software, the company also offers media in the form of advertisements, augmented reality OmniAR, and Baidu Maps. Baidu social media, message boards, and cloud storage services are also available.

Did you know? 

Baidu has come out with an AI that can learn to mimic a user’s voice in a minute or less. While some people find this impressive, others see it as an identity theft risk.

  1. CBS Corporation

Revenue: $9.57 billion
Headquarters Location: New York, USA
Year Founded: 2006
Number of Employees: 12,700

CBS Corporation  Source: wikimedia.org

The well-known CBS Corporation primarily focuses on TV production, publishing, interactive media, and commercial broadcasting. This mass media company’s influence is spread far and wide through the Showtime cable network and other holdings like the Simon & Schuster publishing groups. CBS reached 135 million weekly viewers during the 2017-2018 season alone!

Did you know? 

CBS was actually the first company to experiment with color wheel television instead of black and white.

  1. Viacom

Revenue: $9.61 billion
Headquarters Location: New York, USA
Year Founded: 2005
Number of Employees: 11,200

Viacom   Source: wikimedia.org

This multinational mass media conglomerate operates through six segments: entertainment, radio, cable networks, outdoor, television, and video. This massive company operates around 170 networks through Paramount Pictures and Viacom Media Networks. Viacom acquired Paramount Communications, Inc. in 1994, gaining major businesses such as Madison Square Garden as a result.

Did you know? 

Viacom has TV channels in more than 180 different countries, offering brands such as Comedy Central and BET.

  1. Bertelsmann

Revenue: $10.04 billion
Headquarters Location: Gütersloh, Germany
Year Founded: 1835
Number of Employees: 117,220

Bertelsmann   Source: wikimedia.org

This huge mass media company has made a name for itself throughout the years through business divisions such as Random House, Arvato, and Direct Group. Bertelsmann also boasts world-famous divisions such as BMG Rights Management and the Gruner + Jahr publishing house.

Did you know? 

Bertelsmann received mixed feedback and had a shadow cast over its reputation when it was accused of having had dealings with Nazi media in the past.

  1. Facebook

Revenue: $11.49 billion
Headquarters Location: California, USA
Year Founded: 2004
Number of Employees: 39,651

Facebook  Source: wikimedia.org

It seems like Facebook pops up no matter where you turn, which comes as little surprise considering that it had already reached the 100-million user mark by 2008! There are a number of interesting quirks that went into the formation of Facebook as we know it today. For example: Facebook’s main color is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green color blind and says that blue is the “richest” color he sees.

Did you know? 

While you might think that Zuckerberg himself was the first “face” to have an account on Facebook, that honor actually goes to actor Al Pacino.

  1. 21st Century Fox

Revenue: $18.67 billion
Headquarters Location: New York, USA
Year Founded: 2013
Number of Employees: 22,400

21st Century Fox  Source: wikimedia.org

21st Century Fox is one of two companies that spun off from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in 2013 to take on the bulk of its involvement in the entertainment and media industries. Rupert Murdoch previously bought 20th Century Fox in 1985 after it had already made considerable profits off of classics like Shirley Temple, Cleopatra, and Star Wars, later reworking parts of it into 21st Century Fox in order to unlock its true potential.

Did you know? 

The acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney was finalized at last in March of 2019.

  1. Comcast

Revenue: $19.72 billion
Headquarters Location: Pennsylvania
Year Founded: 1963
Number of Employees: 184,000

Comcast   Source: wikimedia.org

The Comcast Corporation was originally formed as a small cable system down in Tupelo, Mississippi by Daniel Aaron, Ralph J. Roberts, and Julian A. Brodsky. Despite its long-standing and reliable presence in America’s cable industry, Comcast has a horrific reputation among many customers as a result of recorded instances of poor customer service going viral online.

Did you know? 

After waiting for two hours to speak to the manager, only to be told that he’d left for the day, a 75-year-old retiree began wrecking company equipment with a hammer in an outrage.

  1. The Walt Disney Company

Revenue: $22.45 billion
Headquarters Location: California, USA
Year Founded: 1923
Number of Employees: 201,000

The Walt Disney Company   Source: wikimedia.org

Despite the name, The Walt Disney Company was actually founded by two brothers: Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney. Walt was inspired at an early age when he played Peter Pan in a school performance, his brother Roy working the rope that hoisted him up to make him “fly”. The Walt Disney Company is best known for its amusement parks, movies, and broadcast TV shows.

Did you know? 

The Walt Disney Company is the largest single-site employer in the United States at a total of around 25,000 acres.

  1. Alphabet

Revenue: $59.62 billion
Headquarters Location: California, USA
Year Founded: 2015
Number of Employees: 103,549

Alphabet  Source: wikimedia.org

Alphabet is the largest media company in the world by revenue. This multinational conglomerate and umbrella firm serves as the parent company of Google, diversifying the many businesses that Google used to contain so that it can focus on its search engine and software. While the majority of Alphabet’s subsidiaries focus on software and technology development, Google’s focus on ad revenue and YouTube creates a distinct emphasis on media influence as well.

Did you know? 

Alphabet and Google are both known for being highly secretive about their inner workings, which has actually come back to bite them by making them less appealing to investors.

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