The 10 Largest Media Companies in the World, and What They Do

largest media companies

The 10 Largest Media Companies in the World, and What They Do

The ways in which we receive our entertainment and information are diverse and constantly changing. Top media giants that provide these services are in an ongoing battle for the top spots. So, who are the 10 largest media companies in the world?

Although looking at the conglomerates can muddy up the water a bit, we can do some investigation to get to the bottom of who is behind the media we enjoy.

As media personality Rupert Murdoch puts it, “The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.”

With that in mind, let’s dive in and see who is bringing us our news and entertainment at the moment, and the media sectors they are involved in.

#10: FOX Corporation

largest media companies
FOX Corporation focus mainly on television and the internet.

To begin our list of the 10 largest media companies in the world, we have a name that most people will recognize. This new “leaner” version of the FOX media powerhouse founded in 2019 by Rupert Murdoch, provides news, sports, business, and other entertainment outlets.

With Disney’s acquisition of 20th and 21st Century Fox (excluding the Twentieth Century Studio lot) in 2017, the long association with the Fox name and film came to an end.

This all-new FOX corp. does not have a movie production asset just yet, as its focus is mainly on television genres and the internet. FOX Corporation’s company headquarters are located in New York, New York, U.S. The companies’ stock is traded on the Nasdaq as FOXA, FOX (class A and class B).

#9: Warner Bros. Discovery

largest media companies
Warner Bros Discovery covers a large range in the media world.

Founded in April of 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery is no lightweight and is the youngest member of our list. Their media outlets include Warner Bros film and television studios, DC Entertainment, HBO (includes Cinemax), Turner Broadcasting, TNT, and CNN.

Warner Bros. Discovery has a broad reach in the media world. The company provides film and television, comic books, music, video games, and web portals. They also reach sports fans in auto racing, MLB, NBA, and golf networks. They have a hand in the food genre as well, with “The Food Network” and “The Food Channel.”

Warner Bros Discovery is headquartered in New York, New York, U.S., and is led by David Zaslav its president and CEO. The companies’ stocks are traded on the Nasdaq as WBD (class A) as well as an S & P 500 component.

#8: Liberty Global

largest media companies
Modern high-rise buildings with Liberty Global building in the distance in Downtown Denver. The very popular DirectTV is one of the Liberty Global operations.

Liberty Global is a multinational media company with headquarters in London, Denver, and Amsterdam, and was founded in Denver, CO, U. S., in 2005.

They specialize in telephony, internet, mobile, cable television, and satellite services. Its popular DirectTV is the flagship service of the company. With operations in 18 countries, and connecting 23 million homes, Liberty Global has the potential to move up the ranks of the 10 largest media companies in the future.

Company stocks are traded on the Nasdaq as (LBTYA)

#7: DISH Network

largest media companies
DISH Network Company Vehicle. DISH is an American Satellite Service Provider that also supplies OTT services.

Originally formed as EchoStar in 1980, the company became DISH Network in 1998 (an acronym for Digital Sky Highway). DISH features wireless mobile, paid television, and pay-per-view services for its customers.

Although focusing mainly on satellite services, DISH began implementing over-the-top (OTT) services to bypass satellite, broadcast, and cable. This OTT service allows streaming to PCs, and apps for smartphones, smart TVs, digital media players, or game consoles.

Dish Network is headquartered in Meridian, Colorado, U.S. The companies’ stocks are traded on the Nasdaq as DISH (class A).

#6: Naspers Limited

largest media companies
The South African conglomerate Naspers Limited is the sole owner of Media24.

Naspers is a South African media company founded in 1915. Their media interests include books, magazines, and newspapers. Through the Eighties, Naspers diversified into television and markets outside South Africa.

Today, Naspers owns 56.92% of internet conglomerate Prosus, and is the sole owner of Media24, the largest publisher in Africa. Naspers is an excellent example of a large media company that has grown with the changes in technology and media over the years.

The companies’ stocks are traded on the JSE, the largest stock exchange in Africa as NPN. Trading is also available on the LSE as NPSN.

#5: Paramount Global

largest media companies
Paramount Global boasts an impressive 700+ million customers in 180 countries.

Paramount Global began doing business in December 2019, under the direction of Shari Redstone and Bob Bakish. Along with books, films, music, television, and web portals, Paramount also has interests in amusement parks.

Coming in at number five on the list of largest media companies in the world, Paramount is a historical giant in the industry, including Paramount Pictures (its namesake), CBS Group, MTV, BET, CMT, and Showtime, just to name a few.

Paramount boasts an impressive 700+ million customers in 180 countries, putting it in the top 5 out of 10 largest media companies in the world. Paramount stocks are traded on the Nasdaq as PARAA, and PARA (class A and B).

#4: Netflix

largest media companies
Netflix is a global provider of streaming movies and TV series.

For anyone not living under a rock or in a cave, it’s safe to say they’ve probably heard of this media streaming and production monster. Netflix began operations in 1997 with DVD sales and rental through the mail. By 2007, the company had moved to video-on-demand and streaming media. Netflix uses the OTT platform mentioned earlier in the article.

It’s pretty easy to figure out what Netflix does, unlike other members on the list, because they have a simple, direct service plan – give customers entertainment, movies, and originals, through streaming media, paid television, and video on demand.

Netflix is available globally and has a subscription base of over 220 million worldwide. Their streaming services can be accessed on PCs, tablet computers, mobile phones, smart TVs, game consoles, and more. Company stocks are traded on the Nasdaq as NFLX. The company is headquartered in Los Gatos, CA, U.S.

#3: Charter

At number three, we go to the other end of the spectrum from Netflix when it comes to what they actually do. Charter has their hands in a little bit of everything, from cable TV, digital cable, HDTV, internet, and VoIP phone.

Founded in 1993 in St. Louis, Charter, now headed up by CEO Tom Rutledge and Vice chairman John Bickham since 2012, moved into the third spot as the largest pay television company by acquiring Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016.

The company provides services to 25 million customers in 41 U.S. states.

In 2013, Charter made the move to fiber-optics and re-branded the service as Charter Spectrum. Charter Communication stocks are traded on the Nasdaq as CHTR (class A). Charter also has a Nasdaq-100, S & P 100, and S & P 500 component.

#2: The Walt Disney Company

largest media companies
Disney started with comic strips and cartoons, but has since expanded to movies, television and theme parks.

Disney came on the scene in 1923, the brainchild of brothers Walt and Roy Disney. They created this now iconic company based in the animation industry with their mascot and beloved character “Mickey Mouse.” Headquartered in Burbank, California, Team Disney Building, Walt Disney Studios, this mega-media giant came from humble beginnings.

From comic strips and cartoons, the Disney brand now controls interests in theme parks, movies, comic books, music, television, video games, and web portals.

Disney has made some bold moves and pioneered technology in many fields. Moving from animation to live-action films, then on to television and over-the-top interactive theme park rides. After Walt’s death in 1966, followed by a slowing period of growth, the “Disney Renaissance” began in 1984 led by new leader Michael Eisner, their acquisitions have been too numerous to list.

Disney stocks trade on NYSE as DIS, and the company holds the 53rd spot on the Fortune 500 list in 2022.

#1: Comcast Corporation – At the Top of the 10 Largest Media Companies in the World

largest media companies
Comcast owns the largest pay-television company, the largest cable television company, and the largest residential internet company in the U.S.

The company was founded in 1963, in Tupelo, Mississippi, as American Cable Systems, then in 1969 moved its headquarters to Philadelphia, PA, U.S. The company was renamed Comcast and is now the “Big Daddy” of media companies. With offices in Manchester, New Hampshire, Atlanta, New York, Denver, and Detroit, Comcast Corporation is a behemoth player on the media scene.

Holding the number one spot on our list of the 10 largest media companies in the world is no easy task. For Comcast though, one of the biggest problems they have may be being “too” big. The company has faced a lot of pushbacks over the years from antitrust regulators.

With that said, let’s take a look at Comcast’s operations and services to get a profile of just how they control the number one seat at the media table.

To start, Comcast owns the largest pay-television company, the largest cable television company, and the largest residential internet company in the U.S. This includes national channels like NBC and Telemundo.

In the cable channel space, the company owns the likes of MSNBC, USA, Syfy, E!, Bravo, Oxygen, and others. Universal Studios is the star of Comcast’s film division, and in the animation sector, they feature Universal Animation, Illumination, and Dreamworks.

It’s easy to see with all these top names in media, how Comcast controls the number one spot. One other very impressive component of the company’s brand is the Universal Theme Parks and Resorts operating around the world, featuring themes from all their media greats.

Comcast is traded on the Nasdaq as CMCSA (class A).

What’s Next for the Media Industry?

The 10 companies listed in this article are the biggest and most influential in the world and they’re likely to continue to play a major role in the way we consume news, information, and entertainment in the years to come. But it’s important to remember that as large and influential as they are, these companies are not immune to change. While it’s likely that they will continue to shape the industry in the near future, only time will tell what the media industry — and the major players — will look like as technology and the way we consume media evolves.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the largest media company in the world?

Using a combination of metrics for our list and holding to the media arm of the largest companies, Comcast comes in at number one.  It is fair to say that with the expansion of tech and communications companies like Google, Apple, and AT&T, that at some point this list could look very different.

How is the large media company landscape changing?

As stated in the earlier quote by Rupert Murdoch, the giants of media are moving fast to dominate diverse sectors of the scene.  With mergers and acquisitions happening at an alarming rate, the anti-trust aspects will definitely play a role.  Comcast for example, has had many issues in this area, as will other big players as they move forward.

What services do the largest media companies offer?

The largest media companies offer services that cover the entire spectrum of media that the world knows today.  Our news, television, internet, streaming, music, movies, comics, and anything else you can think of is provided by these big companies.

What is the most widely used type of media?

With social media and internet playing such a large role in our lives, it might surprise you that television is still the most used medium.  The diversity in age groups range from the very youngest, to the senior citizen.

What is the most effective form of media for advertisers?

This is a tough call, as any media can produce results for your company.  With that in mind, most studies show that good old television is still the leader.  Mobile advertising and social media are in a tight race with TV, but it boils down to the size of the audience – at least for now!

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