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

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22. Naspers

Diversified, South Africa (Public)

Last year’s rank: N/A

Digital Content Revenue

$1,820,211,624 (22% of total)


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Digital Snapshot

Possibly the biggest multimedia conglomerate you’ve never heard of. What once was merely a newspaper publisher is now a case study in how to expand digitally. Having branched into pay TV in the ’80s, Naspers now operates its own South African domestic online news operation 24.com. But it is best known for making savvy online investments in fast-growing emerging markets. Naspers owns or partly owns the shopping sites Allegro (eastern Europe), Ricardo and OLX (Latin America); the social networks Gadu-Gadu (eastern Europe), Mail.ru Group, vKontakte and Odnoklassniki (Russia); among others. It also owns a third of Chinese internet giant Tencent, from which it gets around a half of its internet revenue.

Key Move

Naspers has made even more acquisitions to transform itself, buying a majority of social shopping’s Multiply for $44 million, emerging markets online game firm Level Up! for $51 million, a majority of Latin American payment provider DineroMail for $28 million, and a majority of Turkish online shopping service Markafoni for $86 million.

Our Methodology

Fiscal year 2010/11 total revenue was ZAR (South African rand) 44,103,000,000, internet revenue was ZAR 12,000,000,000. Subsequent disclosure for six months to September 2011 said that period’s total revenue rose by 50 percent year on year. Therefore, ahead of a  fiscal year 2011/12 disclosure, we are also assuming a 50 percent growth upside to Naspers’ year-on-year performance, making internet revenue an estimated ZAR 18,000,000,000. Around half of Naspers’ internet revenue comes from Tencent, all of which is from digital content. Of the remainder, we are stripping away a third to discount e-commerce revenue from assets like Allegro and QXL. We are including revenue Naspers earns from owned digital assets like Naspers and Mail.ru despite their separate inclusion elsewhere in the paidContent 50.

Source: 2010/11 Annual Report

— RA

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