The New York Times Bits blog has some interesting analysis based on Google’s financial numbers released last week.
As best as I can tell, Google sells more advertising than any company in the world. This year Morgan Stanley estimates Google’s total advertising revenue will be $21.9 billion. Excluding the payments it makes to companies that display its ads, Google’s total ad revenue will be $15.7 billion. Time Warner, the largest media company in the world, earned $8.8 billion in advertising revenue last year. Viacom had $4.7 billion in ad revenue last year. I’m still working through the numbers at the other big conglomerates, but it seems clear that none of them sold more than $16 billion in advertising.