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Google and Facebook take 20 percent of total global ad spend, top list of world’s largest media owners

Google and Facebook together took 20 percent of the world's advertising budget across all media in 2016, according to a report published today. The figure has grown by nine percentage points in five years.

Media agency Zenith's Top 30 Global Media Owners report lists Google's parent company Alphabet at number one, taking $79.4 billion, followed by Facebook, which earned $26.9 billion in advertising revenue.

Comcast takes third place, with $12.9 billion, making it the largest traditional media owner.

U.S. companies dominate the media ranking, Zenith said, because the country has the world's largest ad market. Businesses also invest in overseas expansion, while Silicon Valley tech powers internet advertising, it added. American companies on the list also include The Walt Disney Company, Viacom, iHeartMedia and Verizon, which owns AOL and is in the process of acquiring Yahoo.

Facebook and Google logos
Peter Foley/Bloomberg | Getty Images
Facebook and Google logos

Twitter ranks 30th, and is the fastest-growing media owner, increasing its ad revenues by 734 percent between 2012 and 2016. The micro-blogging platform reported better than expected quarterly results last week, with revenue at $548 million, versus an expected $511.9 million.

China has three businesses in the ranking: search engine Baidu (4), TV station CCTV (20) and Tencent (14), owner of messaging app WeChat.

"Zenith's new ranking demonstrates just how much the internet advertising platforms are setting the pace for global ad spend growth," said Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at Zenith, in a statement emailed to CNBC. "Google and Facebook alone have accounted for almost two thirds of global ad spend growth since 2012."

The world's ten largest media owners

  1. Alphabet
  2. Facebook
  3. Comcast
  4. Baidu
  5. The Walt Disney Company
  6. 21st Century Fox
  7. CBS Corporation
  8. iHeartMedia Inc
  9. Microsoft
  10. Bertelsmann

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.

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