paidContent 50: The world’s most successful digital media companies

28. Hearst

Diversified, United States (Private)

Last year’s rank: #28

Digital Content Revenue

$1,500,000,000 (39% of total)

Digital Snapshot

Hearst projects it will have one million paying digital subscribers by 2012, and president David Carey said the company’s digital media business became solidly profitable for the first time in 2011.

Key Move

Unlike other magazine publishers, Hearst charges separately for digital editions of its magazines.

Our Methodology

Hearst’s CEO in February 2012 said digital revenue would approach levels the company saw in its centennial year of 1987. Hearst’s 1986 revenue was estimated at $2 billion by The New York Times in 1987. So we estimate digital revenue “approaching” that amount at around $1.5 billion.
Source: Company, New York Times, Our estimate

— Laura Owen