ZenimAX Media has been quietly acquiring several media companies over the past few years, from the defunct Fox to major players in the nascent podcast space like Apple’s iHeartRadio.
But the media companies in the mix have yet to be fully disclosed, and even those that are have struggled to keep their assets under wraps.
For example, MediaVest acquired the venerable National Public Radio in 2015.
And after buying Viacom for $50 billion in 2016, MediaPenguin has struggled to sell the news-gathering network to a potential buyer.
While there are still several more acquisitions that have yet be finalized, the most recent of which was announced Monday, the media acquisitions are a step in the right direction.
But not every media company has been able to make this sort of investment at the same time.
The consolidation of media ownership has made it harder for smaller media companies to survive.
In recent years, several of the major media companies have seen their shares drop as more smaller players have stepped up in the race to acquire their assets.
According to data compiled by research firm Zacks Investment Research, the top 20 media companies lost nearly $4 billion between 2013 and 2017.
The biggest drop-off was from AOL to Time Warner.
Meanwhile, the number of smaller media and tech companies increased.
But when the merger was announced, there was no clear indication that the smaller media would fare any better than the big players.
For example, after taking a huge hit in the 1990s, Time Warner, one of the most successful media companies of all time, has a much higher debt load than other media companies.
So even though the Time Warner merger was originally slated to bring more investment to the company, it actually took more of that capital to build up the company.
In the years since, the Time Warner merger has had a huge impact on Time Warner stock prices, which have declined more than 30%.
This year, TimeWarner stock dropped more than 50% after the merger.
The reason for this is that the TimeWarners merger was so big that many of the other media owners in the industry were hesitant to invest in the company in the first place.
For instance, in 2015, CBS acquired NBCUniversal, a news company that had been owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group for the past seven years.
While the two companies were on good terms prior to that, the deal was in the works for years, according to Zacks.
“TimeWarner was a much bigger risk to Sinclair in the past because Sinclair owned the broadcast networks, so they had to be very wary of the potential synergies with Sinclair,” says Robert Healy, an analyst at Zacks, which compiled the data.
“But with Sinclair’s turnaround, they can get away with that, and the Sinclair companies can actually afford to do this.”
When the Timewarner deal was announced in 2018, the merger didn’t make the news headlines, but the company is now one of just three major media company that have failed to go public in the last decade.
The other two are CBS and Verizon.
This is just the latest chapter in a media consolidation that has been going on for decades.
As the media industry’s financial fortunes have been on the decline for years now, smaller companies have had to compete with more established media companies like Comcast and AT&T to get a slice of the pie.
And these smaller companies aren’t always able to keep up with the bigger players.
And so the consolidation of the media business has meant that smaller media can’t compete with the larger players.
There’s no doubt that smaller companies are more resilient, but that doesn’t mean that they’re always going to be able to outlast the big media companies that are now dominant in the market.
So while smaller media is struggling, larger media is thriving, and it’s working to the advantage of the smaller players.
This is a good thing.
Zacks has also published data that shows that a number of these media companies are now outperforming their peers in the digital media space.
According for the period between 2015 and 2017, the median daily ad revenue per ad dollar for all media companies fell by about 3% to $6,700.
For smaller media, the average ad revenue dropped by 2% to about $1,800 per ad.
In other words, smaller media are paying more per ad because of better digital content and the better advertising model.
And as the larger companies have been getting bigger, they’ve been spending more on their own advertising, according for the same period.
Of course, the big companies are still spending a lot on their ads.
And that means that smaller ad-buying companies can’t always keep up.
The larger companies may be able pay more for the right content, but they can’t necessarily keep up their own digital ad spending.
And they can