Top 8 Biggest Media Companies in the United States

Mahenoor Mansuri Mahenoor Mansuri
Jan 3, 2022 9 min read
Top 8 Biggest Media Companies in the United States

Media companies are thriving, especially digital media companies these days. Various advertisements are used to generate revenue by these companies: programmatic advertising, sponsorships, subscriptions, native advertisements, and more. Furthermore, a lot of digital media companies out there growing. Thanks to the increasing number of people using the internet and with the need to keep up with everything, the speed at which the internet works these days is increasing. 5G networks are rolling in offering more and better.

Advertising, broadcasting and networking, news, print and publication, digital, recording, and motion pictures, events and more, all of these specifications fall under the umbrella of two words: the media industry. With each having its own unique way of working. But in today's world, with the rapid development of new technology and the internet, the media industry has lived through much change itself. Some companies are revolutionizing how we look at and define media today.

People will continue to want to stay informed and entertained. Take a look at the top 8 Media companies that originated in the U.S.

Every company is a media company - David Ogilvy

Microsoft
Meta (Facebook)
American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T)
Walt Disney Company
Netflix
Alphabet Inc.β€Œβ€Œ
β€Œβ€ŒComcast Corporation
Charter Communications
FAQ

Microsoft

Founders - Bill Gates and Paul Allen

Revenue - US$161 billion

Headquarters - Redmond, Washington, United States

CEO - Satya Nadella

Founded - 1975

Microsoft Logo
Microsoft Logo

History has witnessed thirteen-year-old writing his first program on a teletype computer, a tic-tac-toe program in basic computer language purchased for the school by the mother's club. This company right here does not need any introduction, nor does the co-founder of Microsoft, and philanthropist famous for creating history.

Bill Gates has a history of excelling in his school, getting exemplary grades and scoring 1590 out of 1600 on a Scholastic Aptitude Test. Gates and Paul Allen later bonded in school over their love of computers, and the rest of the story is known to the world. Bill has worked with Steve Jobs and they did get along well. It is one of the lesser-known facts, but Microsoft rescued Apple in the year 1997 from running into bankruptcy.

The organization is believed to be responsible for the emergence of the term "tablet". It has been experimenting, leading to prototypes for its product designs. Microsoft has gained over 10,000 patents, applying for 3000 more per year. Also well known for its computers and gaming consoles.

Recently there were alleged reports that Microsoft did try to buy Discord and Pinterest this year, and it shows the prominent role of the internet in the area of digital media. Here is a list of companies, right from social media platforms to the interactive media companies that fall under the umbrella of Microsoft Corporation.

  • LinkedIn Corp.
  • Skype
  • GitHub
  • Mojang
  • aQuantive
  • ZeniMax Media Inc Β  Β  Β  Β  β€Œβ€Œ

Meta (Facebook)

Founder - Mark Elliot Zuckerberg

Revenue - US$85.9 billion

Headquarters - 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, California

CEO - Mark Elliot Zuckerberg

Founded - 2004

Meta Logo
Meta Logo

The most popular social networking app, which has rebranded itself as Meta. The most expensive acquisition that Facebook has ever made is that of WhatsApp. Facebook bought it for 19 million in the year 2014. Evolving the way we connect recently, Facebook has also rebranded itself as Meta. Metaverse is further changing how other platforms work as well with virtual and augmented reality.

In the updated list for 2021, Facebook has acquired at least 80 companies. The count is based on names that the company has disclosed. However, it is possible that there will be more acquisitions that have not yet been announced.

Some well-known companies acquired by Meta (Facebook) are as follows:

  • Instagram
  • Oculus VR
  • Onavo
  • Beluga
  • WhatsApp

Media has taken on a whole new aspect with the introduction of the metaverse. This features virtual and augmented reality and the technologies associated with it that could boom in the coming years. Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β β€Œβ€Œ Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  β€Œβ€Œ

American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T)

Founders - Alexander Graham Bell and Gardiner Greene Hubbard

Revenue - US$171.76 billion

Headquarters - Dallas, Texas, U.S.

CEO - John T. Stankey

Founded - 1983

AT&T Logo
AT&T Logo

It ranks as the number one and largest communication company in the world by revenue and has over 100+ million U.S. mobile subscribers, according to the report for 2020. AT&T provides branded telephones, cabling systems and consumer electronics.

Representing quality in global communications, connecting people with 5G, internet & fibre, technology & innovation, and entertaining with Warner Media and its streaming platform HBO Max. This platform clearly stands out as a strong brand. It is also the first company to offer a 5G network in the USA.

Selling out premium content, which is obviously a plus point to establish deeper relationships with its consumers, with storytelling, in turn, converting them into loyal customers.

Their channel, CNN, reaches over 200 billion people. A deal between Warner Media and Discovery has also been struck to combine content and compete with Netflix and Disney.

AT&T has 98 companies under its umbrella and some of them include:

  • HBO and Cinemax
  • Turner Entertainment Networks
  • Adult Swim and Cartoon Network
  • CNN News Group
  • DC Entertainment and Films

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Walt Disney Company

Founders - Walt Disney and Walt O. Disney

Revenue - US$65.39 billion

Headquarters - Burbank, California

CEO - Bob Chapek

Founded - 1983

Walt Disney Logo
Walt Disney Logo

Providing entertainment to its audience, having a powerful vision and acquisition has got the Walt Disney Company where it is today. Disney also defines the world of animation. Back in 2019, it officially acquired 21st Century Fox. Now the media giant holds under these three categories various companies:

Disney media and entertainment distribution

Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, Hotstar, Disney Music group

Disney Studios

Studios include the Walt Disney Studios; Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, and Pixar Animation Studios. Marvel Studios. Lucasfilm, Disney theatrical group, 20th-century studios. Searchlight Pictures.

General entertainment

20th television studios, ABC entertainment; the ABC-owned television stations group, ABC News, ABC signature, Disney-branded television, freeform, FX, Hulu originals; National Geographic. The Walt Disney Company’s cable channels, ESPN+, and ABC.

The amount of control over these companies by Disney depends upon the percentage of ownership it has over them.

Most of Disney's revenue is generated from:

  • Media networks
  • Park and resorts
  • Studio entertainment
  • Consumer products and interactive media

Netflix

Founders - Reed Hastings, Marc Randolph

Revenue - $7,483 billion

Headquarters - Los Gatos, California, U.S.

CEO - Ted Sarandos

Founded - 1997

Netflix Logo
Netflix Logo

It is obvious you can't think of media without adding Netflix next to it, such as the established position it has acquired in the minds of everyone. Netflix changed the game when they introduced a subscription model in the year and no doubt is the competition of all the new platforms coming in wanting to not miss out on the streaming revolution that is making rounds.

Starting as a DVD-by-mail business in the year 1997, it has changed its business model over time. The revenue comes in from the subscription fees from the members; so far it has 192.95 million paid subscribers, according to reports from the second quarter of the year 2020. Another study revealed that most of its users are from the U.S. and Canada in 2021.

Lastly, keep in mind that Netflix is exploring new areas and aiming to expand its empire in gaming. Releasing five games back in November, which is available on iOS and Google Play Store, Netflix is slowly taking the company to another level as it plans to release three new mobile games globally. Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  β€Œβ€Œ Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  β€Œ

Alphabet

Founders - Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Revenue - $65 billion

Headquarters location - Mount view, California

CEO - Sundar Pichai

Founded - Β 2015β€Œβ€Œ

Alphabet Logo
Alphabet Logo

Alphabet Inc. the parent company of Google, was established in the year 2015, co-founded along with Sergey Brin, who also serves as the Director, with the aim to make the core business of Google cleaner and more accurate. Alphabet Inc. identifies as a company that falls under the computer service industry. The holding company includes segments of Google: Google services, Google Cloud and Google Workspace.

Google is involved in businesses like:

  • Engagement in advertisement
  • Sales of digital content
  • Applications
  • Cloud offerings

Not to forget its hardware products, which are:

  • The pixel phones
  • Chromecast with Google TV
  • Google Nest Hub smart displayβ€Œβ€Œ

Apart from this, Alphabet Inc. is also engaged in other segments. The most recent buzzing news is about the deal Verizon Communications signed with Alphabet Inc's Google Cloud to use their 5G network, its computing powers and more.

β€Œβ€ŒComcast Corporation

Founder - Ralph J. Roberts

Revenue - $84 billion

Headquarters location - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

CEO - Brian L. Roberts

Founded - 1963β€Œβ€Œ

Comcast Logo
Comcast Logo

Comcast Corporation, the biggest cable TV and broadband provider company, has been a part of many firsts in history. David Sarnoff founded the first permanent radio network, NBC, in the year 1926, which brought the Olympics to the world with NBC covering it.

In 2010, they opened the doors to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In 2018, Xfinity became the largest Gigabit Internet Provider in the United States in more than 58 million homes, which was faster than any other internet service provider at that time. 2020 has been the best year for Comcast for its broadband. And apart from this, some recent acquisitions in the past few years by Comcast include:

  • Sky
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • NBCUniversal

They have also launched Peacock, Xfinity Flex, xFi, and more. The media and technology company also has won broadcasting rights for the Olympic games till 2032 back in 2014.

Charter Communications

Founders - Barry Babcock, Jerald Kent and Howard Wood

Revenue - $48 billion

Headquarters location - Stamford, Connecticut

CEO - Tom Rutledge

Founded - 1993

Charter Communications Logo
Charter Communications Logo

Charter, which is a broadband and cable operating company, has served over 30 million customers with the help of its brand Spectrum. The services provided by Charter Communications Inc. are further divided into:

  • Spectrum networks
  • Spectrum Original
  • Spectrum Reach
  • Spectrum Business
  • Spectrum Enterprise

With more than 30 Spectrum Networks Delivering Local News and Sports. It aims to be the broadband provider of the future that is fast and secure.


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Conclusion

We can see that algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) are already changing the way we see things, especially on our social media platforms with more emerging software that is data-driven. E.g. analytics and trends data and algorithms are becoming more important for apps like Facebook and Instagram and Google.

Current trends in the media industry recognize a spring in gaming, growth in social media platforms, especially for Gen Z, with 5G networks rolling into the market, creating a buzz and excitement around it. Other companies are setting the bar much higher while aiming at the path to 10 G.

We also observe the binge-watching culture around the pandemic has shot up. With people watching content that they connect to and is relatable to them is on all-time high original movies and web series to binge on contributing to it. Virtual and augmented reality are also being made popular, with Metaverse, and other companies jumping in to compete.

Metaverse has officially entered the definition of the media industry and will furthermore have the power to shift the dynamics. Accordingly, mergers and acquisitions are also into play for the companies, which will create diversified areas in the coming years.

With media convergence in this digital age, the lines between what we consider media and not are blurring with experimentation, advancing technology and data-driven software.

FAQ

What are the 5 biggest media companies?

Comcast, AT&T, Walt Disney, Netflix, and Alphabet are some of the biggest media companies.

Which is the biggest media company in the US?

Comcast is the biggest media company in the U.S.

Who Owns the Media in the U.S.?

U.S. media outlets are owned by 15 billionaires and six corporations.

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