Blog Post

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

47. Informa

Business information, United Kingdom (Public)

Last year’s rank: N/A

Digital Content Revenue

$806,405,380 (39% of total)


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Digital Snapshot

Best known for operating the Datamonitor analysis firm, Routledge book publisher and Informa Telecoms & Media service, Informa is a classic specialist business and academic publisher, putting out over 55,000 books and journals. But, like its rivals, the group has worked hard to transition from the classic B2B publishing model to being a subscription online data and information provider. Now just 17 percent of its revenue comes from copy sales; the majority (36 percent) is from subscriptions.

Key Move

Big platforms for a big publisher. In 2011, it launched its Taylor & Francis Online platform to deliver content from 1,600 academic journals. It plans to use the platform to distribute e-books, whose sales grew to 12 percent of its academic book sales last year. Lloyd’s List, the 278-year-old shipping logistics news pamphlet, has been reinvented as a high-end data service with live info on 120,000 vessels, 163,000 shipping companies and 17,000 credit reports.

Our Methodology

Total revenue is disclosed in its annual report. Digital revenue from publishing was reported to be 74 percent of revenue from relevant business units, which a company spokesperson said was Professional & Commercial Information (total revenue £370.5 million) and Academic Information (total revenue £323.6 million). Informa’s Events division has no digital revenue. So, 74 percent of £694.1 million is £513.634 million.

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.