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Disney Sparkles as Most Valuable Media Brand of the Year

15 February 2018
This article is more than 6 years old.

· Disney tops Brand Finance Media 25 league table with US$32.6 billion brand value

· US dominates as American brands claim 86% of the total value in the ranking

· Canal+ is the fastest-growing network brand, up 41% to US$2.4 billion

View the full list of the world’s 25 most valuable media brands here

View the Brand Finance Media 25 report here

With a brand value of US$32.6 billion, entertainment giant Disney remains the most valuable media brand this year, despite a 5% brand value decrease since 2017. Disney maintains its leading position through its measured focus on brand loyalty, investment in new technologies, and the expansion of its valued partnerships and divisions. Such is the brand’s appeal that with an AAA+ brand rating and a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 92.3, it also came out as the strongest brand in the world not just within the media sector, but across all categories in this year’s Brand Finance Global 500 study.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“Disney has once again waved its magic wand and maintained the title of the most valuable media brand in the world. As a well-loved entertainment brand, Disney has a unique ability to use nostalgia to harness childhood memories amongst its customer base. Revisiting old Disney classics like ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with live-action remakes has proved wildly popular at box offices worldwide.”

Nevertheless, with the recent purchase of a majority stake in 21st Century Fox for US$52.4 billion, Disney can develop its exceptionally strong brand to deliver more for completely new audiences. The addition of companies like Star India – which reaches hundreds of millions of viewers on the subcontinent, Sky – with presence across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Italy, as well as a 60% stake in Hulu and plans to open a new streaming platform, mean that Disney can look to capitalise on this greater international exposure and establish its brand as much more than just a children’s favourite.

Disney’s acquisition of Star India could be a game changer in this fast-growing media market. Disney will be able to take advantage of new opportunities, such as access to cricket broadcasting rights and syndicating Disney productions across Star India’s 50+ TV channels in eight languages and the popular Hotstar streaming service. With over 150 million households, India is the second-largest subscription TV market in Asia, and acquisition of Star India will give Disney a strong edge over competing content providers on the continent. Star’s TV business could also bring in new advertising revenue at a time when US ad spending is growing at a slower pace.

US brands dominate the ranking

Whilst Disney claimed the top rank, Fox (valued at US$17.0 billion) and NBC (with a brand worth US$14.9 billion) retained 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the Brand Finance Media 25 league table, each growing 8% year on year. As Chinese brands make waves in many other sectors, the universal appeal of the American lifestyle and the prevalence of the English language make it easier for the US to retain control of media and entertainment. US brands fill 8 out of the top 10 positions and claim 17 spots in the league table overall. Their aggregate brand value accounts for 86% of the total.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“The majority of the most valuable media brands operate in the US but the importance of emerging markets is increasing. Chinese and Indian markets grow exponentially and brands which understand that, make the most of that boom. This is precisely why Disney is so far ahead of its competition.”

Canal+ is the fastest-growing network brand

With a 41% growth to a brand value of US$2.4 billion, Canal+ is the fastest-growing network brand this year in the Brand Finance Media 25 league table. Canal+ is the leader in Pay TV in France, and its individual subscriber base increased by 2.8 million year-on-year. In August 2017, Canal+ announced a partnership with Bouygues Telecom which will offer subscribers an entry-level package including popular channels and unlimited access to video-on-demand, that is likely to further boost the network’s brand value.


Note to Editors

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The 25 most valuable media brands in the world are included in the Brand Finance Media 25 league table.

Brand value is equal to a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand. Brand strength is used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand.

More information about the methodology as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Media 25 report.

Data compiled for the Brand Finance Media 25 league table and report is provided for the benefit of the media and is not to be used for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
Brand Finance

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organizations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength

Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

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