Branded Content 100: A New Global Publisher Ranking

March 15, 2017

Premium publishers are investing in branded content, with $20 billion up for grabs as content is now growing faster than any other segment in the digital advertising ecosystem.

The market may appear crowded at the surface, with almost all premium publishers selling content solutions, but the top 100 are pulling ahead and winning. Revenue concentration for premium branded content is happening quickly as the market matures and the biggest publishers gaining a disproportionate share of brand spend on content.

Today we are sharing a preview of new research about the top publishers globally focused on branded content in digital, the Branded Content 100. Our insights as a trusted partner to many of the world’s largest publishers, our relationships within the industry, and available public sources, including financial reports and earnings, have informed this new ranking of the top 100 publishers in branded content, based on revenue.

The full list will be released soon and before we get distracted by who’s on it (and who’s not), we think it’s important to highlight the aggregate data and trends.

Key Insights:

  • Branded Content 100 publishers globally will collectively generate $3 Billion in branded content digital revenue in 2017.
  • 65 publishers on the Branded Content 100 are from North America, with the remaining 35 from Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest-of-World.
  • 7 publishers will each generate more than $100 Million in digital revenue from branded content this year.

The Branded Content 100 is ranked primarily by the annual digital revenue publishers generate from branded content. This ranking is global and publishers who operate in many geographies have been aggregated. Publishers have also been aggregated into their ownership groups and are the parent owner is who is represented on the ranking (once).

Move your mouse and click on the graphics below for more context. Note: all figures in USD.

Revenue Ranges

Branded Content 100 publishers have been categorized into four revenue ranges, based on the digital revenue they will generate in 2017 from branded content. These ranges are: (1) under $25 Million, (2) between $25-50 Million, (3) between $50-100 Million, and (4) over $100 Million.

Key Insights:

  • 7 publishers who will each generate more than $100 Million this year collectively make up 25% of the $3 Billion market.
  • 46 of the Branded Content 100 publishers will each generate more than $25 Million this year and collectively make up 80% of the $3 Billion market.
  • On average, each Branded Content 100 publisher will generate $30 Million in digital revenue from branded content this year (but you already knew that, given the market size for the top 100 is $3 Billion).

Geographic Regions

Branded Content 100 publishers are grouped based on their primary revenue geographic region but include their global branded content revenue. The ranking is split into the following four geographic regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), and rest-of-world (ROW).

Key Insights:

  • 65 publishers primarily based in North America will generate a combined $2.43 Billion, or 81% of the $3 Billion market, this year from branded content
  • Branded Content 100 publishers based primarily in North America will generate on average $40 Million each in 2017, more than two times higher than those publishers based primarily in Europe, APAC or ROW regions.

Publisher Verticals

Branded Content 100 publishers are categorized based on the primary or traditional media vertical they generate revenue from. The four publisher verticals used for the ranking are: Broadcast (television and radio), Digital (digital-only), Magazine (print magazine publications) and News (traditional newspapers).

  • Of the 17 Branded Content 100 publishers who will each generate more than $50 Million this year, 8 of them (or 47%) are digital-only who collectively make up $1.3 Billion or 42% of the market
  • Magazine and News publishers make up a healthy 44 of the Branded Content 100 ranking and 42% of the revenue
  • Broadcast publishers will on average generate $26 Million each from branded content in digital this year, which is 26% lower than Digital publishers

What is branded content? See our guide that covers the basics and provides an in-depth view on how publishers are providing content solutions for brands.

The Branded Content 100 global publisher ranking will be shared soon; stay tuned for updates.

Benchmarks Q1-2017

April 2017 | 11-Page Report

The first three months of 2017 have shown major growth in mobile branded content performance – see the aggregate data and trends that prove it.