How big tech took over the news industry.
Last week, Press Gazette conducted a mammoth piece of research to reveal the top 50 news media companies in the English-speaking world currently, ranked by turnover.
This research revealed that compared with a decade ago there has been an astonishing transformation, as legacy publishers and broadcasters (“old media” to you and me) have been pushed out of the top ten to be replaced almost entirely by tech companies.The likes of Microsoft, Apple and Google all have huge involvement in the news and information business now as buyers, producers and distributors of content.
Ten years ago, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation was the biggest news media company in the English-speaking world – and it was about to become even bigger with the planned acquisition of broadcast giant BSkyB. In 2010, News Corporation was bigger than Google, which reported an annual turnover of $29bn. Facebook, meanwhile, was pulling in less than $2bn annually.
” Far from killing us off,” he said of technological advancements at the time, “I see the great disruptions we are now going through as the prelude to a new golden era for companies like News Corporation.”
10 years later, and the Press Gazette News 50 list reveals that the renamed and shrunk-down News Corp has fallen to become the English-speaking world’s 17th largest news media company, with annual revenues of $9bn.
Today, Google (renamed Alphabet at a corporate level) and Facebook are together known as the Duopoly. Their dominance of the digital advertising market makes them the two biggest media (and news) businesses in the world by some margin.
Alphabet‘s $150bn advertising revenues are more than 15 times greater than the $9bn total turnover of Murdoch’s News Corp.None of the companies that make up out top ten would describe themselves as news companies – with their focus on social media, tech, entertainment or telecoms.