Future plc

Last updated

Future plc
Company type Public limited company
Industrymagazine and internet publishing
Founded1985;39 years ago (1985)
Founder Chris Anderson
Headquarters Bath, Somerset, England
Key people
RevenueDecrease2.svg £788.9 million (2023) [1]
Decrease2.svg £174.5 million (2023) [1]
Decrease2.svg £113.4 million (2023) [1]
Number of employees
2,920 (2023) [1]
Website futureplc.com OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Chris Anderson in 2007 Chris Anderson 2007 (cropped more).jpg
Chris Anderson in 2007
Company office in Bath Future office Bath.jpg
Company office in Bath

Future plc is a British publishing company. It was started in 1985 by Chris Anderson. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


Among its many titles are Country Life , Homes and Gardens , Decanter , Marie Claire , and The Week . Zillah Byng-Thorne was chief executive officer from 2014 to 2023, when she was replaced by Jon Steinberg.



The company was founded by Chris Anderson as Future Publishing in Somerton, Somerset, England, with the sole magazine Amstrad Action in 1985. [2] An early innovation was the inclusion of free software on magazine covers. [2] It acquired GP Publications so establishing Future US in 1994. [3]

Anderson sold the company to Pearson plc for £52.7m in 1994, but bought it back in 1998, for £142 million. [2] The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1999. [4] Anderson left the company in 2001. [5]

In 2004 the company was accused of corruption when it published positive reviews for the video game Driver 3 in two of its owned magazines, Xbox World and PSM2 . [6]


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. [7] [8]

The chief executive and finance director both resigned at short notice after a profit warning in October 2011. It was noted that a re-structuring would be necessary as the company moved to a digital model. [9]

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." [10] 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. [11] Later in 2014, Future sold its sport and craft titles to Immediate Media, and its auto titles to Kelsey Media. [12]

In April 2014 Zillah Byng-Thorne, then finance director, was appointed chief executive, replacing Mark Wood, who had been in the position since 2011. [11]


In 2018, Future made further major acquisitions. It bought the What Hi-Fi? , FourFourTwo,Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome brands from Haymarket and it acquired NewBay Media, publisher of numerous broadcast, professional video, and systems integration trade titles, as well as several consumer music magazines. [13] This acquisition returned most of the U.S. consumer music magazines to Future, with the exception of Revolver which had been sold to Project Group M LLC in 2017. [14]

It bought the Purch Group for $132m by September 2018, [15] [16] and in February 2019 bought Mobile Nations including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter for $115 million. [17] [18] Future also acquired Procycling and Cyclingnews.com from Immediate Media. [19] In July 2019 the company bought SmartBrief, a digital media publisher, for an initial sum of $45 million. [20]

In November 2019 the company bought Barcroft Studios for £23.5 million in a combination of cash and shares. [21] It renamed it Future Studios and announced the launch of "Future Originals", an anthology gaming series, a factual series focusing on the paranormal, and a new true crime show, in partnership with Marie Claire. [22]

In April 2020 it acquired TI Media, with 41 brands for £140 million, [23] and, in November 2020, it agreed a £594m takeover of GoCo plc, known for its Gocompare.com price comparison website. [24] In August 2021, it acquired another 12 magazines for £300 million. [25]

The company was criticised in February 2022 for the size of the remuneration package being offered to Zillah Byng-Thorne, the chief executive. It was noted that she could receive £40 million if the company performs well. [26]

Byng-Thorne resigned with effect from 3 April 2023 and was replaced as chief executive by Jon Steinberg. [27]


In addition to media and magazines, the company has two other businesses:


Future's portfolio of brands included TechRadar , PC Gamer , Tom's Guide , Tom's Hardware , Marie Claire , GamesRadar+ , All About Space , How it Works, CinemaBlend, Android Central, IT Pro, iMore, and Windows Central. [30] [31] [32]

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