A five-year analysis of advertising revenue by GroupM shows increased consolidation among the top 25 global media suppliers, which controlled two-thirds of all ad spending in 2020 compared to 42% in 2016, according to a story from MediaPost. The list includes radio giant iHeartMedia with $2.8 billion in ad revenue for 2020, alongside entertainment companies Disney, Warner Discovery and ViacomCBS. At the top of the list are tech companies Google and Facebook, the former up 81% from 2016 to $132 billion in ad revenue in 2020, the latter with a 210% increase 2016-2020 to $87 billion.
According to the data, which comes from pro-forma calculations based on an analysis of advertising revenue estimates from company reports, media companies from China, such as TikTok owner Bytedance and e-commerce giant Alibaba, now account for nearly 20% of the top 25's ad revenue and about 12% of the global advertising economy.
While GroupM's estimate of the largest media companies globally based on ad revenue show Google and Facebook far ahead of the pack, four of the top ten are from China, with tech companies Tencent and Baidu joining Bytedance and Alibaba.
While the trend toward consolidation may be cause for concern, GroupM Business Intelligence Global President Brian Wieser writes in the report, “from a marketer’s perspective, one can argue that high and rising levels of concentration among sellers of advertising are not necessarily negative. Marketers prefer to have many different choices of media owners to work with, but they also like the workflow efficiencies and ease of measurement that comes from having fewer partners."