Future plc

Last updated
Future plc
Public
Traded as LSE:  FUTR
IndustryMagazine and internet publishing
Founded1985;34 years ago (1985)
Founder Chris Anderson
Headquarters Bath, Somerset, England
Key people
Peter Allen
( Non-executive chairman )
Zillah Byng-Thorne
( Chief Executive Officer )
Subsidiaries Future US
Future Publishing
Future Australia
Website futureplc.com

Future plc is a British media company founded in 1985. It publishes more than 50 magazines in fields such as video games, technology, films, music, photography, home and knowledge. [1] It is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. The company also owns the US company Future US.

Public limited company type of public company in the UK, some Commonwealth jurisdictions, and Ireland

A public limited company is a type of public company under United Kingdom company law, some Commonwealth jurisdictions, and the Republic of Ireland. It is a limited liability company whose shares may be freely sold and traded to the public, with a minimum share capital of £50,000 and usually with the letters PLC after its name. Similar companies in the United States are called publicly traded companies. Public limited companies will also have a separate legal identity.

The FTSE 250 Index is a capitalisation-weighted index consisting of the 101st to the 350th largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Promotions and demotions to and from the index occur quarterly in March, June, September, and December. The Index is calculated in real-time and published every minute.

Future US

Future US, Inc. is an American media corporation specializing in targeted magazines and websites in the video games, music, and technology markets. Future US is headquartered in New York City with small offices in Alexandra and Minneapolis. Future US is owned by parent company, Future plc, a specialist media company based in the United Kingdom.

Contents

History

Future's founder Chris Anderson in 2007 Chris Anderson 2007.jpg
Future's founder Chris Anderson in 2007

The company was founded as Future Publishing in Somerton, Somerset in 1985 by Chris Anderson with the sole magazine Amstrad Action . [2] An early innovation was the inclusion of free software on magazine covers, the first company to do so. [2] From 1995 to 1997, the company published Arcane, a magazine which largely focused on tabletop games.

Somerton, Somerset town in Somerset, England

Somerton is a town and civil parish in the English county of Somerset. It gave its name to the county and was briefly, around the start of the 14th century, the county town, and around 900 was possibly the capital of Wessex. It has held a weekly market since the Middle Ages, and the main square with its market cross is today an attractive location for visitors. Situated on the River Cary, approximately 8.8 miles (14.2 km) north-west of Yeovil, Somerton has its own town council serving a population of 4,697 as of 2011.

<i>Amstrad Action</i>

Amstrad Action was a monthly magazine, published in the United Kingdom, which catered to owners of home computers from the Amstrad CPC range and later the GX4000 console.

Anderson sold Future to Pearson PLC for £52.7m in 1994, but bought it back in 1998, with Future chief executive Greg Ingham and Apax Venture Partners, for £142m. [2] In 2001, Anderson left Future. [3]

In 2007, the State of Texas filed a lawsuit against Future plc for violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. [4] The lawsuit alleges that the Future plc owned website GamesRadar "failed to include necessary disclosures and obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from children." [5] The owner of the other websites settled in March 2008, [6] though the final disposition against Future plc is not public record. [7]

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) is a United States federal law, located at 15 U.S.C. §§ 65016506.

In November 2009, Future reported a fall in profits from £9.5 million to £3.7 million (a loss of 61 percent) in the fiscal year that ended 30 September 2009. Future attributed this to problems with their US market, hit by a fall in the general advertising market. [8]

In March 2010, Future announced that it was exploring the possibility of reviving its GamesMaster brand on television. The video games show had run from 1992 until 1998 but while the spin-off magazine continued to be published for a further 20 years, its last issue hit the newsstands on 1 November 2018. [9] [10]

GamesMaster is a British television show, screened on Channel 4 from 1992 to 1998, and was the first ever UK television show dedicated to computer and video games.

Future won the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year Award for the third year in a row in 2010. [11]

Future published the official magazines for the consoles of all three major games console manufacturers (Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony); however PlayStation: The Official Magazine ceased publishing in November 2012, and Official Nintendo Magazine ceased publishing in October 2014. [12] [8]

The company had a period of shuttering print media properties in favour of digital media, closing many titles and selling off others. In January 2012, Future sold its U.S. consumer music magazines, including Guitar World and Revolver , to NewBay Media for $3 million. [13] In April 2013, it completed the sale of major components of its UK media-music brands for £10.2 million to Team Rock Ltd. [14] In September 2013 – but bought these back for £800,000 in 2017 after Team Rock went into administration. [15]

In August 2013, Future acquired two Australian computing titles, APC and TechLife from Bauer Media Group. [16] [17]

Future announced it would cut 55 jobs from its UK operation as part of a restructuring to adapt "more effectively to the company's rapid transition to a primarily digital business model." [18] The company announced in March 2014 that it would close all of its U.S.-based print publications and shift U.S. print support functions such as consumer marketing, production and editorial leadership for Future's international print brands to the UK. [19] Later in 2014, Future sold its sport and craft titles to Immediate Media, and its auto titles to Kelsey Media. [20]

In 2016, Future started to expand its print and web portfolio through a series of acquisitions. It bought Blaze Publishing to diversify into the shooting market [21] and acquired Noble House Media to increase its interest in telecoms media. [22] Future then completed the purchase of rival specialist magazine publisher Imagine [23] [24] on 21 October 2016 after receiving approval from the Competition and Markets Authority. [25] In 2018, Future made further major acquisitions. It bought the What Hi-Fi?, FourFourTwo,Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome brands from Haymarket. Future acquired NewBay Media, publisher of numerous broadcast, professional video, and systems integration trade titles, as well as several consumer music magazines. [26] (this acquisition returned most of the U.S. consumer music magazines to Future with the exception of Revolver which already sold to Project Group M LLC in 2017). [27]

It completed the acquisition of U.S. B2C publisher Purch for $132m by September 2018. [28] [29] Future also purchased nextmedia computing and tech assets (including Atomic , Hyper , PC PowerPlay , and PC Tech & Authority) in the same month and incorporating PC PowerPlay articles into the online versions of PC Gamer. [30] [31] [32]

In January 2019, Future sold some B2B brands to Datateam Media Group. [33]

In February 2019, Future acquired Mobile Nations including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter. [34]

Organisation

One of Future's offices in Bath Future office Bath.jpg
One of Future's offices in Bath

In March 2014, it was announced that the company's CFO Zillah Byng-Maddick would become the company's fourth CEO in nine years on 1 April 2014 after Mark Wood, CEO since 2011, stepped down. [19] Richard Huntingford is chairman. [35]

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PC Gamer is a magazine founded in the United Kingdom in 1993 devoted to PC gaming and published monthly by Future plc. The magazine has several regional editions, with the UK and US editions becoming the best selling PC games magazines in their respective countries. The magazine features news on developments in the video game industry, previews of new games, and reviews of the latest popular PC games, along with other features relating to hardware, mods, "classic" games and various other topics.

Harris Publications Inc. was an American special interest media company, operating over 75 brands with print, digital, mobile and live event platforms prior to its sale to Athlon Media in 2016. It has produced magazines that educate, entertain, inform and inspire. Subject matters span an array of interests including decorating, gardening, beauty, automotive, sports, outdoor living, history, tactical, entertainment and wellness. Harris' titles covered a variety of markets and focused on niche special interests, primarily in the United States.

<i>AnandTech</i> Online computer hardware magazine owned by Future plc

AnandTech is an online computer hardware magazine owned by Future plc. It was founded in 1997 by then-14-year-old Anand Lal Shimpi, who served as CEO and editor-in-chief until August 30, 2014, with Ryan Smith replacing him as editor-in-chief. The web site is a source of hardware reviews for off-the-shelf components and exhaustive benchmarking, targeted towards computer building enthusiasts, but later expanded to cover mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Its investigative articles have been cited by other technology news sites like PC Magazine and The Inquirer.

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<i>Retro Gamer</i> video game magazine

Retro Gamer is a British magazine, published worldwide, covering retro video games. It was the first commercial magazine to be devoted entirely to the subject. Launched in January 2004 as a quarterly publication, Retro Gamer soon became a monthly. In 2005, a general decline in gaming and computer magazine readership led to the closure of its publishers, Live Publishing, and the rights to the magazine were later purchased by Imagine Publishing. It was taken over by Future plc on 21 October 2016, following Future's acquisition of Imagine Publishing.

Tom's Hardware is an online publication owned by Future and focused on technology. It was founded in 1996 by Thomas Pabst. It provides articles, news, price comparisons, videos and reviews on computer hardware and high technology. The site features coverage on CPUs, motherboards, RAM, PC cases, graphic cards, display technology, power supplies and displays, storage, smartphones, tablets, gaming, consoles, and computer peripherals.

Space.com space and astronomy news website

Space.com is a space and astronomy news website owned by Future. Its stories are often syndicated to other media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo!, and USA Today.

Imagine Publishing

Imagine Publishing was a UK-based magazine publisher, which published a number of video games, computing, creative and lifestyle magazines.

<i>MCV</i> (magazine)

MCV is a UK trade magazine that focuses on the business aspects of the video game industry. It is published monthly by Biz Media, a subsidiary of Datateam Media Group and is available in print and digitally.

Cengage is an educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education, K-12, professional, and library markets worldwide. It has operations in more than 20 countries around the world.

nextmedia Pty Limited is an Australian media company which publishes special interest magazines in the sport, humor, and hobby. The company is headquartered in Sydney and owned by The Forum Media Group, a German-based B2B and B2C publisher.

Centaur Media is a London-based business information, events and marketing provider to professional and commercial markets. It currently operates through three segments: Xeim, and The Lawyer. It was formed in 1981 by Graham Sherren, and is incorporated as a public limited company.

Immediate Media Company Limited is a combined publishing house containing the former assets of Origin Publishing, Magicalia and BBC Magazines. It was formed on 1 November 2011 and was owned by Exponent Private Equity until January 2017, when Hubert Burda Media acquired the company for an undisclosed sum. Immediate Media Co. publishes over 70 interest-based, multi-platform brands, maintains over 50 websites, and employs over 1,100 staff in its offices in Hammersmith, London, Bristol, Redditch, Camberley and Manchester. Immediate is the current publisher of a diverse range of publications, including the Radio Times, Gardens Illustrated and Top Gear magazines. Tom Bureau - who has a background in digital media as well as traditional publishing - is Immediate's CEO. 60% of Immediate's profit is generated by the Radio Times, which is now spearheading the company's moves into online retailing..

Purch Group, Inc. is a digital publisher and a subsidiary of Future plc. The company, based in New York City, was founded in 2003 and engages in the online marketing business. The company operates a large number of websites. In 2014, it rebranded itself as Purch "to better reflect its growing portfolio of brands and products focused on purchasing decisions".

Advantage Business Marketing (ABM) is a private, American digital marketing and information services company owned by the venture capital firm Owner Resource Group. The company was founded in 2006 and is based in Rockaway, New Jersey.

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