The paidContent 50: The Most Successful Digital Media Companies In The U.S.

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

paidcontent, 3/29/11

There’s no doubt that people are spending increasing amounts of time with digital media (the web and mobile devices) and decreasing amounts with traditional media (newspapers, magazines and radio). The numbers prove it.

What’s less clear is this: Which media companies are doing the best job of exploiting that shift? Welcome to the paidContent 50, our inaugural list of the 50 most-successful digital media companies in the U.S. (Don’t be fooled: There are 50 companies on the list, even though it ends at No. 43. We had one three-way tie and five two-way ties).

Our list is a ranking based on digital sales, which, in our minds, is a fair indicator of digital success. Where digital sales figures were publicly available, we used them; in cases where they weren’t, we estimated them, using a variety of sources, including comments executives have made to the press, research reports, and conversations with industry analysts. We also reached out directly to dozens of companies that don’t report digital sales, although most—including major media conglomerates that only a few years ago were trumpeting their digital revenue figures—declined to provide that information to us. Some insisted the digital data was too tied into other parts of the business to break out.

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