China Outlets Join World's Biggest Media Company List

Google is No. 1 and DirecTV beats Walt Disney for second place, according to a ZenithOptimedia study.

Google is the biggest media company in the world, followed by DirecTV and the Walt Disney Co., according to a study released Monday.

The study, from ZenithOptimedia, is a Top 30 list and researchers added up revenue generated from media at companies throughout the world during the financial year, in this case July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013. For the first time, two Chinese companies made the list: state-run TV entity CCTV at No. 23 and Internet search engine Baidu at No. 28.

Baidu made $3.58 billion in the most recent year, up from $2.33 billion, making it one of the fastest-growing companies on the list. As of September 2014, Baidu enjoyed a 72 percent share of the Internet search market in China. 

ZenithOptimedia says CCTV had $4.34 billion in revenue in the most recent year but has no data for the previous year, making it tough to calculate its growth. CCTV, which stands for China Central Television, was founded in 1958 and broadcasts 22 free-to-air channels and 23 pay-TV channels.

In cases where a company derives revenue from several industries, only media-generated revenue is counted, as is the case with Microsoft. The study has the maker of software listed as No. 29 with $3.39 billion in media revenue, up from $3.18 billion a year earlier. The media assets are listed as Bing, Skype, MSN and Xbox Live.

Google is tops with $43.69 billion, up from $36.53 billion a year earlier, while DirecTV is second with $29.74 billion, up from $27.23 billion, and Disney is third with $20.28 billion, up from $19.7 billion. 

Fourth on the list with $19.03 billion is 21st Century Fox, which is treated as a separate company from News Corp., though the two didn't split until June. News Corp. was No. 12 on the list with $7.4 billion in revenue, though the study stripped out revenue from Amplify, a digital education unit, and HarperCollins, since the researchers' defined "media" as something that supports advertising, so book publishing didn't count.

Comcast ($18.47 billion in revenue) and Time Warner ($16.12 billion) were fifth and sixth, respectively. Rounding out the Top 10 were Cox Enterprises, BSkyB, Bertelsmann and CBS. 

Others on the list include Viacom (11),  Vivendi (14), Clear Channel Communications (15), Yahoo (19), Discovery Communications (22) and Facebook (24).

Sony did not make the Top 30, and only two companies on the list have the dubious distinction of making less revenue in the most current year than in the previous year: Asahi Shimbun Co. (16) and Fuji Media Holdings (21).