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paidContent 50: The world’s most successful digital media companies

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9. Tencent

Diversified, China (Public)

Last year’s rank: N/A

Photo: Flickr / Jawen

Digital Content Revenue

$4,471,033,696 (100% of total)


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Digital Snapshot

A giant with fingers in many pies, Tencent Holdings subsidiaries include the QQ IM network (721 million active users), Qzone and Pengyou social networks, games, the Weixin mobile community client, and a Twitter rival with 373 million registered users. It says it has 77.2 million paying online services subscribers and a further 31.4 million paying mobile subscribers.

Key Move

Integration for the nation. Tencent is riding the wave of China’s still-radiating internet and mobile explosion. It’s been trying to tie together its many and varied services. Integrating user accounts across its microblog and QQ.com portal service in 2011 was aimed at increasing user time spent across each.

Our Methodology

Tencent reported 80.8 percent of its 2011 revenue came from internet value-added services (Qzone social network, Pengyou, QQ subscriptions, QQ Music, online games), 11.5 percent from mobile services (Weixin, Wireless QQ, mobile games, SMS), seven percent from online advertising (new online video platform in March, revamped paid web ads system) and 0.7 percent from others.

Source: 2011 Annual Report

— RA

21 Responses to “paidContent 50: The world’s most successful digital media companies”

  1. Good Job Mr. Robert

    I am a freelancing SEO and SMM professional. The recent update of google penguin and panda has changed the SEO pattern radically.

    And google has done this algorithm change to spread their digital ads business nothing than this.

    I really hate this because, making loss to others for their own profit is a Digital Crime and Weak Business policy from my view. Check my site Arsenal Highlights

  2. ciaranj

    If you want to rank things on revenue, fine. But then don’t call it the ‘Most Succesful List’: Microsoft might ‘make’ $3.9b on digital content, but it also loses around $3b every year too.

  3. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I think this is a terrific list despite any reservations some people have about the methodology. It really demonstrates the huge growth potential of digital media companies in some of the emerging markets. Also, as a scientist – I note Elsevier being top 5 in revenue (Elsevier is publisher behind many of the top scientific journals).

  4. Mindbendingpuzzles

    What about Valve and their digital games platform: Steam. I know they are a private company and figures are hard to come by but in 2011 Forbes reckoned they have more than 50% of the 4 billion dollar PC games download market. That is huge.

    I would really love to see Paid Content do some investigation on Valve because they are an incredibly innovative company who really push digital retailing to its limits.

  5. Groupon and Monster are’t really media companies. I’m not even sure that ad agencies should qualify in the same category as Viacom or Time Warner. Totally different business model.

  6. Brendan

    Why is eBay not in this list? They have an ad business on eBay.com and their classified sites, and the seller fees they collect are essentially paid ads since the platform doesn’t handle the items. This list is also missing Alibaba Group from China (including Taobao), and Gree from Japan.

  7. Zato Gibson

    “Creating this list wasn’t easy.”

    I can imagine. Manipulating the numbers to get Microsoft into the top 10 must have been really tough.