Corporate Eye

100 Leading Media Companies 2011 Edition Released

Today, AdAge released the 2011 edition of its annual 100 Leading Media Companies report, which ranks media companies according to U.S. net revenue. Overall, the report indicates that the media market is recovering after the 2007-2009 recession sent media revenues spiraling downward. In 2010, U.S. media revenue for the 100 leading media companies increased to $322.5, which is up 5.4% over 2009 revenue numbers.

However, AdAge reports that momentum is already slowing down, and the possibility of a double-dip recession has media companies worried. According to the report, the top media company by U.S. net revenue in 2010 was Comcast Corp. with $44.54 billion in net revenue.

The big winners in 2010 were digital media companies which experienced significant growth (17.7%) in both net revenues and employment. For example, Facebook’s revenue more than doubled and Google’s revenue grew by 27.4%. Broadcast TV grew by 14% in 2010 thanks to increased local auto advertising and political ad spending. Unfortunately, that growth isn’t continuing so far in 2011. Video and broadband providers saw a 6.5% increase in 2010, but magazine revenue decreased by 0.8% and newspaper revenue dropped by 5.1% (not as painful as the 21.5% drop newspaper revenue experienced in 2009). At the bottom of the 2010 media market was the yellow pages sector which experienced a 17.9% drop in net revenues.

One of the big trends in the media market has been (and continues to be) consolidation and acquisition. For example, Comcast Corp. purchased NBC Universal in 2011 making its U.S. media revenue twice as much as any other media company. We’re likely to see a lot more of this company and brand consolidation in the future.

I suspect this list will change a lot from year to year throughout the near future. The media market is in a state of flux, and it will be interesting to see which companies and brands survive the next 5 years. It seems obvious that the digital media sector will continue to grow quickly while traditional media sectors like the yellow pages and newspaper will continue to struggle. Which companies will own which companies and brands in 2015? Leave a comment and share your thoughts on the 100 Leading Media Companies report and your predictions for the future of the media market and media brands.

Image: AdAge

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.