One of only two countries from the developing markets, China has achieved unprecedented success with its companies CCTV and Baidu being ranked in ZenithOptimedia’s Top Thirty Global Media Owners in 2014.And they’re in esteemed company, with Google claiming the number one spot and Yahoo!, Facebook, Disney and Time Warner amongst its powerful roll-call.

ZenithOptimedia’s ranks companies in a rigorous and unique process according to each candidate’s media properties, any notable recent developments, and a breakdown of media revenues.

Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at ZenithOptimedia, explains that “the arrival of CCTV and Baidu in our Top 30 list is testament to the size and dynamism of the Chinese market. But we expect a much greater presence from emerging market media owners once they start to expand their international operations in earnest.”

What makes the placing of CCTV and Baidu so significant is that all but seven of the thirty companies are global corporations with international scope and associated revenue potential as a result.

The Chinese companies as well as Globo – a fellow emerging market company from Brazil – and only a small handful of other national companies have made it into the top thirty despite being devoted solely to one specific national market. So let’s meet the two Chinese media owners who made the cut in 2014.


China’s state television network CCTV was placed 23rd in the ZenithOptimedia line-up. One place above social media giant Facebook, and six places ahead of Microsoft. CCTV is responsible for around 25% of Chinese TV adverts and offers users 22 free channels and 23 pay-per-view TV channels


China doesn’t have Google, so Baidu is the national search engine, places 28th and ahead of global corporation Microsoft in the 2014 listing. And like Google, Baidu has developed its repertoire to include social media and location services as well as traditional question-asking and search facilities.

Content is King

The addition of Baidu to the Top 30 now means that there are five dominant pure-play internet media owners in the rankings, joining Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and Microsoft. These five intermediaries – companies that connect people with content rather than creating content themselves – make up 20% of the ZenithOptimedia list’s combines revenue.

And given that a fifth of the revenue generated by the companies on this list comes from companies that distribute content to consumers, it’s no surprise that a whopping 22 of the 30 companies listed in the rankings are media and entertainment organisations who create their own content.

Together they account for almost two thirds of the revenue generated by the top 30 groups combined. Barnard claims that: “The production of compelling content lies at the heart of the media world, and content producers still dominate the Top 30.”

 ZenithOptimedia top 30 global media companies 2014


Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor at Fourth Source and Tech Enthusiast!