Media companies generate trillions of dollars every year globally.

With digital transformation, mass media is revolutionizing the way people consume entertainment and news. The largest media companies are the driving forces behind these emerging trends.

Keeping up with their strategies and investment tactics helps you formulate more effective business plans and expand the reach of your own company.

Our experts at Business2Community have compiled this list of the top media businesses around the world by market capitalization using reliable sources. Let’s take a look at how these media conglomerates change the media industry and how you can benefit from it.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Dominance of Streaming: Digital transformation is central, with streaming platforms like Netflix leading market cap rankings, indicating a shift towards online consumption of entertainment and news.
  2. Impact of Mergers and Acquisitions: Large media companies are continuously expanding through strategic mergers and acquisitions, enhancing their market presence and diversifying their offerings.
  3. Diversification of Revenue Streams: The major media companies are not just relying on traditional media but are innovating with digital platforms, such as Disney+ and Peacock, to capture the growing demand for online content.

Top 10 World’s Biggest Media Companies: A Quick Overview

  1. Netflix ($270.98 Billion) – Leads with a robust streaming service, revolutionizing media consumption with a vast subscriber base and significant original content.
  2. Disney ($221.80 Billion) – Renowned for its blockbuster films and theme parks, Disney also makes strides with its streaming service, Disney+.
  3. Comcast ($168.72 Billion) – A media powerhouse operating across cable TV, broadcasting, and digital media with notable acquisitions enhancing its market reach.
  4. Warner Bros. Discovery ($20.79 Billion) – Formed from a merger, it commands a strong presence with a range of media and entertainment assets including HBO and CNN.
  5. News Corp ($15.11 Billion) – Owns influential publications and digital properties, maintaining significant influence in news and digital media.
  6. Fox Corporation ($14.19 Billion) – Controls major TV networks and news outlets, with strategic moves in digital streaming through acquisitions like Tubi.
  7. Liberty Media ($9.63 Billion) – Manages a diversified portfolio including significant stakes in the auto-racing sector and digital media.
  8. Paramount Global ($8.08 Billion) – Holds a historic film studio and various television networks, with efforts to expand into digital streaming.
  9. Endeavor Group ($7.72 Billion) – A media agency with vast operations in entertainment and sports management.
  10. Nexstar Media Group ($5.75 Billion) – The largest local TV station operator in the U.S., pivotal in shaping local media landscapes.

The World’s 10 Biggest Media Companies

The global media market was worth $1.62 trillion in 2024 and is forecasted to be nearly $2 trillion by 2029.

The television and video segment contributes the most to the revenue, accounting for $705.20 billion in 2024. By 2029, the online media sector is expected to produce 49.18% of the total revenue in the media industry.

As digital transformation continues to shift people’s preference for entertainment, traditional television stations and new media are embracing these trends and focusing on delivering online media content. Digital streaming platforms are on the rise and the US is one of the strongest leaders in setting trends and attracting viewers to different formats.

To give you an objective overview of the field, here are the world’s biggest media businesses by market capitalization.

1. Netflix – $270.98 Billion

In 2024, Netflix dominates the media industry. As of March 2024, the company had a market cap of $270.98 billion.

netflix

Founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, Netflix initially provided DVD rental and shipping services in its early years. Netflix.com was launched the year after. In 1999, the company introduced its first subscription service, providing unlimited DVD rentals without the typical restrictions like late fees and rental limits.

Within the first two years of launching of its subscription services, Netflix’s user base exceeded 1 million. In 2022, Netflix completed its initial public offering on the NASDAQ at $15 per share. As of 2023, original investors would have a return of 35,684% on their investment.

In 2007, Netflix launched its streaming platform, also named Netflix, revolutionizing the media landscape. Instead of downloading a movie or TV show, users were able to stream them online, simplifying the watching experience for viewers, no longer having to store downloaded media files locally. This model, paired with the rise of high-speed internet, completely revolutionized the media landscape.

Together with its original TV series and movies, Netflix is a leading media platform by market share.

By 2023, it had more than 260 million subscribers globally. In the first half of 2023 alone, more than 90 billion hours were spent on the platform with 30% of viewers preferring less-than-a-year old content. Its revenue for the financial year was $33.7 billion.

In summer 2023, the company announced a crackdown on password sharing – where a paying subscriber gives access to their account to people living at different addresses. The tightening of policy wasn’t exactly popular but no one can argue that it didnt work, with an 8% quarter-over-quarter increase in revenue for Q4 2023 and a spike in new subscribers.

Company Name Netflix
Headquartered In Los Gatos, California, US
Market Cap $270.98 billion
Founded In 1997

2. Disney – $221.80 Billion

Famous for its theme parks and movie productions, the Walt Disney Company is one of the world’s biggest media conglomerates with a market cap of $221.80 billion at the time of writing. The studio focuses on producing family-friendly animated content and blockbusters including many well-known movies like Snow White, Star Wars, Up, Incredibles, Avengers, and Toy Story.

walt disney studio

The story of Walt Disney began in 1923 when Walt Disney created the company to produce short films. To better market itself, Walt Disney personally hosted the ABC show, Disneyland, in 1954 to promote the new theme park and its animation. Building family-style theme parks and producing children’s content helped the media giant grow exponentially, becoming one of the biggest household names in the 20th century.

To catch up with media digitalization, the studio began launching streaming platforms like Disney+ (2019) and ESPN+ (2018). It has also pursued aggressive acquisition strategies under the leadership of Bob Iger, buying Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and parts of 21st Century Fox as well as taking a stake in Epic Games.

One of Disney’s main focuses in the modern era was to capture as much of the exploding Indian media market. It is finishing up a massive deal with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries to sell its Indian arm for roughly $10 billion.

As of 2024, the company had won a total of 150 Academy Awards, with 32 of them won by Walt Disney himself, demonstrating the influence of the media conglomerate.

Company Name Walt Disney
Headquartered In Burbank, California, US
Market Cap $221.80 billion
Founded In 1923

3. Comcast – $168.72 Billion

Another one of the world’s best media companies by market cap is Comcast, a mass media company in the US, with a value of $168.72 billion at the time of writing.

comcast office

Ralph Roberts founded Comcast in 1963 when he bought American Cable Systems, a US cable TV operator, for $500,000 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Since then, Comcast has grown into one of the media conglomerates in the US with its services spanning from internet broadband to streaming to cable TV news to radio.

The media and entertainment giant has been able to grow its market value due to smart expansion strategies through a series of famous mergers and acquisitions. In 1997, it partnered with the Walt Disney Company to acquire 50.1% of the controlling stake in E! Entertainment. Two years later, Comcast attempted to merge with MediaOne but AT&T swooped in to buy it – although Comcast ended up acquiring AT&T in 2002 for $72 billion.

Comcast joined Time Warner to acquire Adelphia Communications together in 2005 and also outbid the Fox Corporation and bought the Sky Group for $39 billion in 2018.

In the last decade, the demand for streaming services has grown drastically. To meet consumer demand , Comcast launched Xfinity for cable and broadband services in 2010, and the Peacock streaming platform was launched in 2020 hosting classic and fresh content for subscribers.

Comcast offers a diverse range of news, media, and streaming consumer products to maintain a strong presence in traditional broadcasting while meeting the rise of digital media. Some well-known subsidiaries/assets owned by the media conglomerate include:

  • E! Entertainment
  • Sky
  • NBC Universe
  • Universal Pictures
  • Xfinity
  • Syfy

In 2023, Comcast reported a total revenue of $121.57 billion, making it the largest media company in the world by revenue as well. From 2001 to 2023, Comcast saw a steady rise in revenue, except for 2020 when the pandemic severely hindered growth for most mass media companies.

comcast revenue

Company Name Comcast
Headquartered In Tupelo, Mississippi, US
Market Cap $168.72 billion
Founded In 1963

4. Sony – $105.99 Billion

Established right after WW2 in 1946, Sony is a multinational conglomerate with business segments in electronics, photography, music, media, and gaming. The media firm bought Columbia Pictures for $3.4 billion in cash in 1989, making it the then-largest US acquisition by a Japanese company.

sony production

Three years later in 1992, the studio created Sony Pictures Classics to distribute and create independent films. Over the years, Sony Pictures has produced numerous award-winning movies across different genres that were also a box-office success. Examples include The Da Vinci Code, 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Smurfs, Whiplash, and Venom.

The film studio builds its empire by creating its own movies as well as buying film rights from existing characters and comic stories to ensure box office performance. For example, it bought the legendary Spider-Man character from Marvel for $7 million in 1999 and produced the iconic Spider-Man series in the early 2000s. Its latest acquisition of film rights in 2024 was Tarzan.

Sony also also produces TV shows. Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, voted as the US’ top game shows based on a survey conducted by Entertainment Weekly, are filmed at Sony Pictures studios. Its gaming arm, Sony Interactive Entertainment, is also responsible for titles such as Last of Us, God of War, and Uncharted.

The company made a profit of $88.97 billion in 2023, bouncing back from the decline the previous year at $76.58 billion.

Company Name Sony
Headquartered In Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Market Cap $105.99 billion
Founded In 1946

5. Naspers – $31.71 Billion

Headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, Naspers is a top media company in South Africa with a market cap of $31.71 billion at the time of writing. Naspers is the parent company of Media24, the largest publishing platform in South Africa specializing in book publishing, news, and digital media.

Naspers was founded in 1915 as a news publisher only publishing in Afrikaans. In order to expand its market reach, it began using the English language and was subsequently listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1990.

Over the years, Naspers relied heavily on merging, partnering, and acquiring international media businesses to grow its market value. The business bought a 46.5% majority stake in the China-owned Tencent Holdings Limited for $32 million in 2001. Three years later in 2004, it bought 9.9% of Beijing Media Corporation for around $36 million. It then bought Abril Stake, a leading Brazilian media business, for $422 million in 2006.

In 2019, Naspers’ shares in Tencent meant it made up roughly 25% of the value of the Johannesburg exchange. This led to a complicated ownership structure that saw a chink of value move to a Dutch holding company called Prosus, moving some of the company value to the Euronext exchange. Shareholders weren’t keen on the deal and it began to be unwound in 2023.

With its efforts to grow its international market, the media and entertainment group now has over 2 billion customers in 100+ countries. Naspers generated an annual revenue of $32.24 billion in the 2023 fiscal year.

Company Name Naspers
Headquartered In Cape Town, South Africa
Market Cap $31.71 billion
Founded In 1915

6. Warner Bros. Discovery – $20.79 Billion

Warner Bros. Discovery is the youngest entry on our list of the largest media companies in the world. Founded in 2022 following the $43 billion merger of AT&T and Discovery, Warner Bros. Discovery has quickly grown to one of the strongest media conglomerates with a market cap of $20.79 billion as of March 2024.

wbd brands

The New York-based company owns a number of cable networks, film studios, and digital streaming platforms, including:

  • HBO Max
  • CNN
  • Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Adult Swim
  • New Line Cinema
  • TNT
  • Discovery+

Overall, its networks segment generated the biggest revenue from 2021 to 2023, reaching $21.24 billion in 2023, followed by its film studios segment at $12.19 billion.

warner bro revenue

Company Name Warner Bros. Discovery
Headquartered In New York City, New York, US
Market Cap $20.79 billion
Founded In 2022

7. News Corp – $15.11 Billion

Based in New York, the News Corporation (News Corp) was formed by the media tycoon, billionaire Rupert Murdoch in 2013 after it spun off from the original News Corp. After the split, News Corp sold Dow Jones Local Media Group, which had 33 news outlets, to Newcastle Investment Corp. for $87 million.

news corp office

News Corp offers a wide range of film and television services, digital real estate trading services, book publishing, internet services, and more. It is the parent company of Dow Jones & Company, which owns numerous publications like the Wall Street Journal, Financial News, and Market Watch.

Between 2012 and 2023, News Corp saw a stable annual revenue of around $9 billion each year. Back in 2018, the business heavily relied on its cable networks and news services to generate revenue as half of its total revenue came from that segment. In 2023, its revenue became more evenly split across segments like news services, media publications, streaming service platforms, and digital real estate services.

news corp revenue

Company Name News Corp
Headquartered In New York City, New York, US
Market Cap $15.11 billion
Founded In 2013

8. Fox Corporation – $14.19 Billion

Also founded by Rupert Murdoch, Fox Corporation is a leading multinational media business that owns cable networks and assets like the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News, and Fox Television Stations.

fox office

In 2018, the Walt Disney Company bought most of 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion. The remaining assets would be split into business segments – News Corp and 21st Century Fox – which would become the present-day Fox Corporation.

As a major competitor of Comcast, Fox Corporation engaged in a major bidding war with it over shares of the Sky Group in 2018,  but eventually lost the auction to its rival.

To meet the growing demand and competition from streaming platforms, Fox bought streaming service Tubi for $440 million in cash in 2020 to provide a wide range of TV shows and movies.

In 2023, Fox continued to see a steady rise in revenue, totaling $14.56 billion.

Company Name Fox Corporation
Headquartered In New York City, New York, US
Market Cap $14.19 billion
Founded In 2019

9. Liberty Media – $9.63 Billion

Liberty Media was created after it spun off from the American cable television group TCI in 1991. Since then, it has been an influential mass media company that owns assets in various fields. Through acquiring media companies and entertainment groups, it expanded its coverage and market share of the industry.

liberty media office

In 2010, Liberty Media bought 34.5 million shares from Live Nation Entertainment at a 14% premium, valued at $870 million in total. The acquisition, together with the shares it owned at the time, gave the business a 35% stake in Live Nation.

Then, in 2018, Liberty Media bought the biggest motorsports racing group Formula One for $4.6 billion, giving the media conglomerate exclusive commercial rights to the annual FIA Formula One World Championship. Formula One generated $3.2 billion in its 2023 season.

The company formed a new joint venture called New SiriusXM with the leading broadcasting company, SiriusXM, to provide more comprehensive services to users in 2023 and its fiscal year saw a total revenue of $8.95 billion.

Company Name Liberty Media
Headquartered In Douglas County, Colorado, US
Market Cap $9.63 billion
Founded In 1991

10. Paramount Global – $8.08 Billion

Paramount Global, formerly ViacomCBS, is one of the largest media conglomerates with a market cap of $8.08 billion as of March 2024. The company was founded in 2019 following a merger of the CBS Corporation and Viacom as ViacomCBS and changed its name to Paramount Global in 2022. It owns channels like Comedy Central, CBS News, and CMT.

paramount global channels

Although the business was created in recent years, its history dates back to over a century ago when one of its most profitable subsidiaries, Paramount Pictures, was founded in 1912. Paramount Pictures is one of the most well-known film studios in the world, producing blockbusters like Top Gun, Transformers, and Star Trek.

In 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery began discussing with Paramount Global about the possibility of a merger. The next year, an auction was held for the sale of Paramount Global. However, Warner Bros. decided to drop out of the auction due to dissatisfactory stock market performance. Since the entertainment group was a household name in the film and entertainment industry, it attracted many other interested bidders like Apollo Global and Skydance Media.

Company Name Paramount Global
Headquartered In New York City, New York, US
Market Cap $8.08 billion
Founded In 2019

Top 10 Media Companies in the USA

From our list of the top media companies in the world, it is not hard to spot quite a few familiar American names. Indeed, the US is a thriving market with many top-performing media companies.

In 2024, the US contributed to the majority of the global media sector with an estimated value of $526.50 billion with the TV and video segment accounting for the majority of the pie at $279.50 billion.

With the rise of the internet, more people can access streaming platforms and are willing to pay for a subscription. By 2029, digital products are expected to account for 56.24% of the total media revenue in the country.

To give you a better understanding of the media landscape, here are the top 10 media companies in the US by market capitalization:

  1. Netflix – $270.98 Billion – Biggest streaming platform in the world by market share
  2. Disney – $221.80 Billion – Leading film and TV production studio for blockbuster content
  3. Comcast – $168.72 Billion – Largest media conglomerate in the world by market capitalization
  4. Warner Bros. Discovery – $20.79 Billion – Youngest media firm in the industry with top-performing benchmarks
  5. News Corp – $15.11 Billion – Parent company of the Dow Jones & Company
  6. Fox Corporation – $14.19 Billion – Owns several famous television channels like Fox News
  7. Liberty Media – $9.63 Billion – Owns full commercial rights to Formula One
  8. Paramount Global – $8.08 Billion – Produced numerous Hollywood blockbusters under Paramount Pictures
  9. Endeavor Group – $7.72 Billion – Biggest media agency in the US in terms of market capitalization
  10. Nexstar Media Group – $5.75 Billion – Largest Texas-based media business

Learning From the Biggest Media Companies in the World

The biggest media companies in the world distribute hot and trending content that drives growth and sales every day. Studying their business models and strategies can help you refine your investment tactics and operations.

To become one of the largest media companies, mergers and acquisitions are important. Many of the businesses we’ve covered fully utilized the strength of competitors to their advantage by acquiring different business segments. Naspers investment in Tencent has made it a huge media company simply by acquiring a global media company at the right time.

Understanding your consumer preference is also vital. In this day and age, digitalization has transformed the media sector. Firms will have to adapt and deliver corresponding services to appease a wider group of audience. For example, Disney and Comcast launched Disney+ and Peackock, respectively, after seeing the explosive growth and global success of Netflix.

With our list of the top-performing media firms in the world, you can now learn from these premium brands and craft a more profitable business or know where to continue researching for making savvy investment choices.

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