Top Media Companies’ Market Cap Up $330B in 2020

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LONDON—2020 saw an significant increase in the revenues and market capitalization of the world’s top media companies, as consumers were forced to quarantine at home amid the pandemic, leading to more content consumption. Per, the combined market cap of the top five media companies—Walt Disney, Comcast, Netflix, AT&T and Charter Communications—increased $330 billion year-over-year.

One of the biggest trends in 2020 was the increase in streaming, which was beneficial for Disney, which launched its Disney+ streaming service in the months prior to the pandemic. Disney+ has already surpassed 100 million global subscribers, helping Disney experience the largest market cap increase among the top five companies.

In April 2020, Disney’s combined value of its shares was $179.8 billion. By the end of 2020 that number had increased to $309 billion. Disney’s market cap peaked in March 2021 at $350 billion, but actually dipped in recent weeks to $332 billion, though that still represents an 85% year-over-year increase.

Also riding the streaming wave was Netflix. The world’s largest streaming provider (and fourth-largest media company overall) surpassed 207 million global subscribers in March, a 25% increase since the start of the pandemic. Financially, Netflix’s market cap pre-pandemic was at $185.3 billion and then reached $233 billion by the end of 2020. The number has come down a little, now at $223.2 billion, but it still represents a $38 billion increase in the last year.

Comcast saw its market cap increase 52% over the last year, going from $163 billion to $248 billion. AT&T rose from $210.2 billion in April 2020 to $225.6 billion, a 15% increase. Charter Communications went from $102.4 billion to $141.1 billion, a 38% market cap increase.

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