20 years of Internet Bigs: Many are Gone, Some Prosper; More Content Providers Emerge

Not every internet giant remains successful. In fact, while some continue to grow and prosper, a surprising number have faded into obscurity and a few new providers have emerged . 

Looking back at 1998, web leaders included AOL, Geocities, Netscape, Lycos, Excite, InfoSpace and American Greetings. All are either gone or barely functioning under another another banner.

In 2008, Fox, Glam Media and Turner were in the top 20. They are no longer.

By 2018, publishers or content providers had a made a strong appearance, with Meredith, Hearst and Conde Nast breaking through to leadership positions. (Most New York Times Corp revenue is digital, these days.)

The top internet company since 1998: Microsoft. Since 2003: Google, Amazon and, surprisingly for some, Walmart.

Emergence of Content Providers

Meredith and Oath may be the most unrecognizable names to many people looking the current top-20, reports Visual Capitalist. (When Verizon Communications purchased Yahoo! in 2017, it merged AOL and Yahoo! into a subsidiary named Oath.)

While Meredith may not be a household name, the company controls many of the country’s most popular magazine brands (People, Sports Illustrated, Health, etc.) including their sizable digital footprints. The company also has a slew of local television networks around the United States.

After its acquisition of Time Inc. in 2017, Meredith became the largest magazine publisher in the world.

20 years of Internet giants can be found here.

Note: The ranking uses ComScore data, which is focused on the U.S. and looks at unique visitors/viewers. For ‘Top 50 Multi-Platform Properties’ (Desktop and Mobile) as of June 2020, go here.

Image source: VisualCapitalist.com

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