Domestic research revenue for the Top 50 U.S.-based market research and data analytics companies was $14,874.3 million in 2019, marking a growth rate of 4.8% over 2018. These companies logged revenue of $14,733.8 million outside the U.S. in 2019 – indicating an almost equal split of domestic (50.2%) and international (49.8%) business.

The Top 50 Report (formerly Honomichl & Gold) has a 47-year history. It is authored this year by Diane Bowers, a consultant to research and data analytics businesses and industry associations, in partnership with the Insights Association and Michigan State University and sponsored by the AMA, ESOMAR and the Global Research Business Network.

In addition to the Top 50 companies, the activity of 211 Insights Association member companies is included in the report. These additional 211 companies combined for $735 million in U.S. revenue in 2019 with median U.S. revenue of under $1 million; and an average of $3.5 million. Thirty percent of the 211 companies conduct research outside of the U.S. These 63 companies totaled $98 million in non-U.S. revenue in 2019.

“While world economies and specific industries have certainly changed since these companies closed their 2019 books, the Top 50 Report remains a valuable tracking tool for our industry,” commented Melanie Courtright, CEO of the Insights Association. “Seeing at a glance revenue generated by type of service provided and industries served; noting which companies are rising or falling on the list and documenting their areas of emphasis and expertise is fascinating and essential knowledge for leaders in our space.”

As reported in previous Top 50 reports, the U.S. research industry’s annual growth rate has historically tracked ahead of the nation’s annual real GDP growth rate. In 2019 the 4.6% growth rate of the 261 companies in the Top 50 report doubled the Real GDP Growth Rate of 2.3%.

In 2019 the number of full-time U.S. employees among the Top 50 companies was 51,067, an increase of 7.3% over 2018. For the Top 50 companies the U.S. revenue per full-time employee in 2019 was $291,270, up slightly from $286,573 reported in 2018.

Strength in U.S. – For the first time in many years, non-U.S. revenue did not exceed U.S. revenue for the Top 50 companies. The global revenue growth rate for the Top 50 was 3.0% in 2019, which is one percentage point lower than the average global revenue growth rate for the past four years, and 1.8% lower than the growth rate for U.S. revenue.

Leading Industry Verticals & Services Provided
Media, Advertising & Entertainment (32%). Health Care Products, Services, OTC Medicines (21.4%), and Consumer Durables / Non-Durables (12.1%) were the industries providing the most revenue.

Audience Measurement (23.2%), Data, Text & Analytics (18.4%), and Information Technology (13%) were the services leading the way in revenue generation.

“We’re excited to expand the scope of the Top 50 Report even further next year,” Courtright said. “Ours is a rapidly transforming industry with fast-emerging market intelligence sub disciplines. With our partners, we are creating a taxonomy that defines a broadened Insights & Analytics market, which will be featured in the next Top 50 Report.”

The full 2020 Top 50 Report may be accessed here.