Report: Top 25 Media Companies Control 2/3rds of Global Ad Market

(Image credit: Stock)

NEW YORK—As the Biden administration appoints critics of big tech to some senior regulatory posts, GroupM has released new data showing that the share of the advertising business controlled by the world’s largest media companies has dramatically increased. 

In new research, GroupM noted that the top 25 had 66.6% of the global ad market in 2020, up  from 42.1% in 2016.  

The top five pulled in $295.5 billion in 2020, about 46% of the total $641.2 billion total ad pie. 

In its weekly monitor of marketing trends, GroupM cited increased regulatory efforts in the European Union, Japan and the U.S.  

In the U.S. big tech critic Lina Khan has been appointed as chairperson of the FTC, the most important consumer protection body in the country, and members of Congress have introduced legislation to break up or limit the operations of some of these companies. 

“Whether because of legal obligations or pressure from governments and regulators or because the companies choose to do so voluntarily, more significant changes could happen if the companies referenced here are ultimately broken up,” the GroupM report noted. “While there would technically be more competition in the industry, the smaller companies that might result from such actions would probably find themselves better able to allocate capital – available on an effectively unlimited basis to these companies – to new growth initiatives that might have been ignored by their larger predecessor companies.  To the extent that subsequent investments were successful, that could have the effect of increasing concentration among the descendants of today’s giants.”

Google topped the GroupM list, followed by Facebook, Alibaba, Bytedance and Amazon. 


(Image credit: GroupM)
George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.