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Published on .

The emergence of online ad-supported services and direct broadcast satellite operations are adding New Age flavor to the media soup-and a veritable revenue gusher to this report.

Revenue from online and DBS, representing six media companies, grew 96% to $2.19 billion in '95. These two categories were part of "other" media in this report accounting for $6.1 billion revenue, up 35.3%. Other components measured include direct-marketing and freestanding-insert companies plus out of home leaders.


America Online, now claiming 6 million members, led the surge at $1.09 billion revenue, up 177.4%. CompuServe Corp., with 4 million members, climbed to $561 million, up 42.9%. Prodigy revenue holds a distant third.

In the wings is Microsoft Network from Microsoft Corp. Although it did not make the ranking, the network generated an estimated $77.2 million in revenue in only four months of operations in '95. The network, with 1.3 million members at mid-year '96, already is ahead of the Prodigy sub count.

DBS company DirecTV amassed an estimated $313 million revenue in '95, its first full year after going national October '94. Satellite broadcasting has cable companies worried, to the point they pooled funds to launch their own DBS service, Primestar, whose revenue, an estimated $178 million, orbited just short of Top 100 inclusion.


Primestar expanded its customer base from just 231,000 in January, 1995, to 1 million at yearend.

The direct-broadcast industry currently isn't ad supported but will be when subscriber counts hit an estimated 3 million, believes Steve Blum, president of Carmel Group, which follows the DBS industry. DirecTV is projecting 2.5 million subscribers by yearend.

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