The entertainment industry has changed dramatically over the past decade as more content has become available over the internet. Many of the biggest entertainment companies in 2024 experienced significant growth during the pandemic as everyone turned to streaming platforms and online games to keep themselves occupied.
At Business2Community, our aim is to keep you informed about the topics that matter most to you. This article ranks the 10 largest entertainment companies in the world by market cap and provides you with key facts about their history, performance, and market reach.

The World’s Biggest Entertainment Companies

The entertainment industry includes gaming, music, streaming, television, live music, and theme parks – and we’ll see all of these sectors represented in this list of the 10 biggest entertainment companies in the world.

The global media and entertainment industry was worth an estimated $2.4 trillion in 2023, according to PwC. Consumer spending accounted for the largest proportion of this revenue, but advertising is set to take over from 2025.

revenue sources that the entertainment industry includes

The 10 entertainment companies listed below have a combined market cap of over $1 trillion, so let’s take a look at how they’ve got to where they are today.

1. Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) – $249.64 Billion

Netflix ranks as the largest entertainment company in the world by some margin.

What began as a DVD mail rental business in 1997 has grown into a video-on-demand streaming service with almost 270 million users in 2024. The company reported revenue of $33.7 billion in 2023, up from $31.6 billion in 2022.

Netflix subscriber numbers 2014-2024

Netflix, founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, launched its streaming service in 2007, a decade after it first started offering DVD rentals. It was famously played down by one of its main rivals, Blockbuster, at the time.

Despite the media company having a market cap of almost a quarter of a trillion dollars, its co-founder, Marc Randolph, has a relatively modest net worth of $150 million.

Netflix began working on original content in 2011 and released its first original series, House of Cards, in 2013. Its most successful series to date has been Squid Game, with over 1.65 billion hours watched.

House of Cards premium content from Netflix

After experiencing strong growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, Netflix has struggled to maintain momentum and recorded a drop in subscribers in Q1 2022. Later in the year, it introduced a lower-priced, ad-supported tier to attract new users while cracking down on password sharing. These measures combined delivered the results it needed, and Netflix’s market cap is now almost back to its pandemic peak of over $300 billion.

Company Name Netflix, Inc.
Founded 1997
Headquarters California, USA
Market Capitalization $249.64 billion

2. The Walt Disney Company (DIS) – $208.49 Billion

The Walt Disney Company has just celebrated its 100-year anniversary and needs barely any introduction. It is the 7th most valuable brand in the world, according to Forbes, and certainly the biggest in the global entertainment industry.

Although traditionally known for its cartoon films, Disney is an entertainment and media conglomerate that owns several TV channels and operates theme parks, cruise lines, and resorts. ESPN, ABC, and National Geographic are all owned by Disney.

Disneyland California

When its streaming service, Disney+, was launched in November 2019, 10 million users signed up on the first day. It now has over 150 million subscribers.

Just like Netflix, Disney’s company value rose significantly during the pandemic and experienced a slump afterward. However, Disney has lead a successful recovery effort and its stock price remains at just 56% of its peak value in March 2021. This has caused boardroom drama at the company, with activist shareholder Nelson Peltz trying to win seats on the board and dilute the power of returning CEO Bob Iger.

Soaring costs for the entertainment business and increased competition from other streaming platforms have squeezed its margins in recent years. In 2023, Disney reported net income of $2.35 billion, down from $3.15 billion in 2022.

Company Name The Walt Disney Company
Founded 1923
Headquarters California, USA
Market Capitalization $208.49 billion

3. Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) – $151.75 Billion

Comcast Corporation is a telecommunications and media conglomerate that was founded as a cable company in 1963.

It has become the largest pay-TV service in the US, alongside Charter; both have 14.1 million users. Comcast is also the largest home internet provider in the United States (under the brand name Xfinity) and also operates Universal theme parks.

Through NBCUniversal, Comcast operates various broadcast television networks and news channels including NCB, CNBC, Bravo, and E!.

Its core business units, and the percentage of the $81.2 billion revenue it generated in 2023, are:

  1. Residential connectivity and platforms: 57%
  2. Media: 20%
  3. Studios: 9%
  4. Business services connectivity: 7%
  5. Theme parks: 7%

Entertainment companies: Comcast Atlanta

Some significant acquisitions appear in the history of Comcast, including:

  • 2002: Comcast acquired AT&T Broadband for $47.5 billion
  • 2011: Comcast gains a controlling stake (51%) in NBCUniversal for $13.8 billion
  • 2013: Comcast completes the purchase of NBCUniversal from GE, purchasing the remaining 49% for $16.7 billion
  • 2016: NBCUniversal acquires DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion
  • 2018: Comcast acquires European satellite broadcaster Sky for $39 billion
Company Name Comcast Corporation
Founded 1963
Headquarters Pennsylvania, USA
Market Capitalization $151.75 billion

4. Sony Group Corporation (SONY) – $104.16 Billion

Sony, founded in 1946 in Japan, is the largest entertainment company outside of the US.

Sony’s early products included an electric rice cooker, a tape recorder, and Japan’s first transistor radio. In 1979 the company launched its first Walkman, a device that revolutionized the way people could listen to music.

Over the next two decades, the company branched out into other areas of the entertainment sector including home entertainment, mobile phones, music, gaming, and movies. One of its biggest successes was the PlayStation game console, released in 1994 and now in its fifth generation.

Sony can also be considered one of the world’s largest technology companies. Sony Semiconductor Solutions designs and manufactures semiconductors, image sensors, memory storage, and other electrical components for global distribution.

Sony reported revenue of ¥11.5 billion ($75 million) in FY22, the largest share of which came from its game and network services (¥3.6 billion/$23 million). Entertainment, technology, and services delivered ¥2.5 billion/$16 million, making it one of the biggest Japanese companies.

Sony revenue by sector

Company Name Sony Group Corporation
Founded 1946
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Market Capitalization $104.16 billion

5. NetEase, Inc. (NTES) – $62.18 Billion

NetEase, founded in 1997, is the largest Chinese entertainment company in the world by market cap. It specializes in internet technology and content creation including online games, music streaming services, and ecommerce platforms.

NetEase reported revenue of $14.6 billion in 2023, with a net income of $4.1 billion. Its revenue is broken down into four key operations:

  • Games and related value-added services: $11.5 billion
  • Youdao (ecommerce): $759 million
  • Cloud Music: $1.1 billion
  • Innovative businesses and others: $1.2 billion

According to Sensor Tower, NetEase has over 1,000 iOS apps and 500 Android apps listed. In April 2024, these apps had over 22 million downloads combined. Although most are free to access, the company made an estimated $162 million of app revenue in the month, predominantly from in-app purchases.

netease revenue in app markets

In May 2022, NetEase announced its first US studio, Jackalope Games, which has since rebranded to Jackalyptic Games. Based in Austin, Texas, the studio is led by industry veteran Jack Emmert and operates independently of NetEase. NetEase also has studios in Japan, Canada, Spain, France, the UK, and South Korea.

Company Name NetEase, Inc.
Founded 1997
Headquarters Zhejiang, China
Market Capitalization $62.18 billion

6. Spotify Technology S.A. (SPOT) – $58.93 Billion

Spotify is the youngest of these giant entertainment companies, born out of the internet music sharing revolution of the early 2000s.  It was founded in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden, by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It is also unique in that its revenue comes from a single platform rather than multiple brands and products like most of the larges entertainment giants.

Spotify provides streaming services for music, podcasts, and audiobooks across 184 markets.

The platform’s monthly active users grew rapidly from 406 million in 2021 to 602 million in 2023, and in April 2024 reported record-high quarterly profits of $197 million, a topic that’s discussed on this Financial Times podcast:

As of 2024, Spotify gives users access to:

  • 100 million tracks
  • 6 million podcasts
  • 350,000 audiobooks

In 2023, 39% of Spotify’s users were Premium subscribers who paid a monthly fee to access content ad-free and offline access. Of Spotify’s $13.2 billion revenue in FY2023, 87% ($11.6 billion) came from Premium users while just 13% ($1.7 billion) came from ad-supported users.

Spotify has come under criticism for its royalty-based system that pays artists a share of net revenue each month. This works out at approximately $0.003 – $0.005 per stream, according to Ditto, and Spotify has so far paid out over $40 billion in royalties.

In April 2024, Spotify updated its royalty system to crack down on artificial streaming and distributors abusing the system with very short “noise” tracks.

other content on spotify - noise tracks

Company Name Spotify Technology S.A.
Founded 2006
Headquarters Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Market Capitalization $58.93 billion

7. Nintendo Co., Ltd. (NTDOY) – $57.65 Billion

Japanese entertainment company Nintendo designs, manufactures, and releases video games and gaming consoles.

Nintendo began life life as a playing card company back in 1963 but has now evolved into one of the largest entertainment companies in the world with some of the most recognizable products in the gaming industry.

mario video game

The company’s brands include Game Boy, Wii, Nintendo Switch, Super Mario, Super Smash Brothers, Pokemon, and The Legend of Zelda.

Super Mario Land was a huge success when it was released for the Game Boy, Nintendo’s first handheld console, in 1989. 35 years later, the iconic character features in 5 of the top 10 games sold for the Nintendo Switch.

In FY2023, Nintendo made $12 billion in revenue and $3.8 billion in operating profit. This represented a year-on-year decrease of 5.5% and 14.9%, respectively. The business reported a 22.1% drop in hardware sales for the year, partly due to a shortage of semiconductors over the summer. However, its digital sales increased by 12.7%.

Company Name Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Founded 1963
Headquarters Kyoto, Japan
Market Capitalization $57.65 billion

8. Universal Music Group N.V. (UMGNF) – $56.53 Billion

Universal Music Group was founded in 1934 as Decca Records. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, it was rebranded as MCA Records and MCA Music Entertainment Group before becoming Universal Music Group in 1996. Despite its long history, the company wasn’t publicly traded until its IPO in September 2021.

Universal Music owns or has a stake in hundreds of record labels, including Capitol Music Group, Abbey Road Studios, Interscope-Geffen-A&M, and Mercury Records.

In 2023, 9 of the top 10 global recording artists in the world, according to IFPI, were signed to Universal Music labels.

Top 10 recorded music artists 2023

The company also boasted 6 of the top 10 artists on Spotify for 2023 and 13 of the top 20 most-streamed songs on Apple Music.

Universal Music reported $11.1 billion in revenue for 2023; a 7.4% year-on-year increase. Operating profit was $1.42 billion, a decrease of 11.4% year-on-year.

24% of its songs are listened to on subscription audio streaming services while 19% are watched on video streaming platforms and 17% are heard on the radio.

UMG recently sparked a battle with the popular social media platform TikTok, arguing that the app doesn’t pay artists enough for their music. It forced TikTok to remove most of the songs that it owned the rights to (used in potentially upwards of 60% of all existing TikToks) to try to negotiate a better deal.

After nearly 3 months, TikTok and Universal Music were finally able to come to a deal that allowed UMG-signed artists and songwriters to earn more for their work on the platform, restoring UMG’s massive catalogue of songs to the app.

how people listen to music entertainment companies

Company Name Universal Music Group N.V.
Founded 1934
Headquarters Hilversum, Netherlands (corporate); California, USA (operational)
Market Capitalization $56.53 billion

9. Oriental Land Company Ltd (TYO:4661) – $46.36 Billion

Oriental Land Company Ltd is a Japanese company that trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It is a subsidiary of the Keisei Electric Railway Company and operates theme parks, hotels, and other leisure facilities.

Its FY23 revenue of $4 billion came from:

  • Theme parks: $3.33 billion
  • Hotel businesses: $0.57 billion
  • Other businesses: $0.11 billion

27.5 million people attended Oriental Land theme parks in 2023. These include Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. The company has also invested over $2 billion in its new Fantasy Springs resort, due to open in June 2024.

Fantasy Springs Tokyo

Company Name Oriental Land Company Ltd
Founded 1960
Headquarters Urayasu, Japan
Market Capitalization $46.36 billion

10. Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) – $34.64 Billion

Another video game company, Electronic Arts, rounds out this list of the largest entertainment companies globally.

Electronic Arts was founded by former Apple employee Trip Hawkins in 1982. He served as CEO until stepping down in 1991. During this time, the company focused on games for personal home computers but it then branched out into console games, and later, mobile games.

plants vs zombies

EA’s most popular game series include EA Sports FIFA, The Sims, Need For Speed, Madden NFL, and Apex Legends. It is also behind popular mobile apps including Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies, and Peggle.

Electronic Arts made an estimated $43 million from its 1,700+ apps in April 2024, with 28 million new downloads.

Here are its most profitable mobile apps in 2023, according to Statista:

EA sports and other mobile app revenue 2023

EA made $7.42 billion in revenue in FY2023, with a net income of $802 million. In its 2023 annual report, the company celebrated EA SPORTS FIFA 23 becoming the best-selling title in franchise history and The Sims 4 community reaching more than 70 million players.

Company Name Electronic Arts Inc.
Founded 1982
Headquarters California, USA
Market Capitalization $34.64 billion

Learning From the Biggest Entertainment Companies in the World

These top entertainment businesses span a broad range of sectors, from video games to telecommunications to music and streaming.

We’ve covered new, tech-based companies like Spotify and older, more traditional global media companies that have been producing content to entertain audiences for decades. While there are tech startups that have identified market gaps and changed the way we consume media, like Netflix and Spotify, there are long-established companies that have adapted to changing markets and made smart acquisitions to grow quickly.

If you’re considering investing in the entertainment industry or starting your own company, it’s encouraging to know that there are many different routes to the top. Companies with a diverse interest in the entertainment industry feature heavily on our list, with movies, music, and gaming all being massive revenue generators, giving you a great starting point when looking where to invest your money.

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