The Ugly Truth: Who Are Akamai’s Media Customers or Anyone For That Matter


We’re starting a new blog post series called “The Ugly Truth”, and the purpose of each post is to ask and answer the most difficult question pertaining to our industry. The question is carefully selected, and it reflects the question we get asked the most from our customers, media companies, investors, and so on. Today’s question is – Who are Akamai’s Media Customers?

The easiest way to answer that question is to ask another question – Who are the largest media companies in the US?

The first thing we need to do is look at the data. As we see below, the nine largest US Media Companies generated $276B in annual sales in 2014 and have a present day market valuation of $640B.

  • Generated $276B in annual revenue in 2014
  • And have combined market valuation of $640B presently
 Companies Global Rank 2014 Sales in Billions 2015 Mkt Cap in $B
1 Comcast 57 69 151
2 Walt Disney 100 49 195
3 21st Century Fox 152 32 59
4 Time Warner 156 27 55
5 Time Warner Cable 252 23 53
6 Directv 300 33 47
7 CBS 367 14 30
8 Viacom 380 14 20
9 Dish 520 15 30
 source ->yahoo finance  Totals $276B $640B

Now lets do the same with GAFAN+M. As we see below, GAFAN+M generated $502B in annual sales in 2014, and has a present day market valuation of $2.28 trillion dollars.

  • Generated $502B in 2014 Sales
  • And has market valuation of $2.28 Trillion dollars
 Companies 2014 Sales in Billions 2015 Mkt Cap in $B
Google 66 505
Apple 234 675
Facebook 13 303
Amazon 89 310
Netflix 6 49
Microsoft 94 439
 Total $502B $2.281 T

When we add the 9 largest media companies to GAFAN+M, we get the $3 Trillion Beast:

  • Fifteen US companies generated $778B in 2014 sales
  • Fifteen US companies are worth $2.9 trillion

According the Business Insider, the largest media companies control 90% of the media in the US. Now if we throw in GAFAN+M, my guess is that number jumps up to 98%.

The Ugly Truth: Every piece of information we consume, from Mickey Mouse to searches to sitcoms to movies is controlled by a dozen companies. And the job of every researcher in the industry just got a lot harder, because now we must sift through more useless information to find the Ugly Truth.

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