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

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27. Time Warner

Diversified, United States (Public)

Last year’s rank: #22

Digital Content Revenue

$1,500,000,000 (5% of total)

Digital Snapshot

Time Warner acknowledges just under $1.5 billion in digital revenue across Time Inc., Turner Broadcasting, Warmer Bros. Entertainment and HBO, including digital subscriptions, streaming deals, rentals and electronic sell-thru. Time Warner Investments has stakes in more than 30 companies.

Key Move

Turner acquired Zite for CNN and has been rumored repeatedly to be in talks for Mashable. Time Warner’s digital strategy started to shift from TV Everywhere, with HBO Go as the authentication poster child, to Content Everywhere. All of Time Inc.’s magazines are available cross platform now, with the publisher finally agreeing to subscription sales through iOS. Warner Bros. is also taking part in digital locker UltraViolet among other video monetization efforts.

Our Methodology

For the first time, at our request, Time Warner is putting an overall number on digital content and advertising revenue across the company. The total covers Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting, Time Inc., and HBO, but it is not broken out. The company says last year’s number was underestimated but couldn’t provide the percent of change.

Source: Company

— Staci Kramer

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 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.