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

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15. Omnicom Group

Advertising, United States (Public)

Last year’s rank: N/A

Digital Content Revenue

$2,780,000,000 (20% of total)


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Digital Snapshot

Omnicom is the world’s number-two advertising agency, but makes much less of a splash about “digital” than Big Four rivals. Ad Age suggests it “buries” such work by making digital a competency of all its groups including DDB, BBDO and TBWA, “Our belief is that all of our services are digital and will become digital,” John Wren told suspicious investment analysts in 2011. “And it’s my personal belief, two years from now, you won’t even use that word to make a distinction.”

Key Move

Build and buy. Omnicom has formed Annalect Group to centralise digital-media targeting, tools and buying power. But it also added online consumer research firm Communispace and social media agency Fanscape through acquisition.

Our Methodology

Unlike rivals WPP (29%) and Publicis (28%), Omnicom does not currently break out its digital revenue as a percentage of total, believing the distinction is becoming meaningless. MediaPost reported in 2010: “Digital revenues collectively comprised 18% of Omnicom’s overall revenues in 2009 compared with 27% of WPP and 22% of Publicis.” So, a year later, we estimate its proportion at less than rivals’, around 20%.

Source: AdAge and FY 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.