Future plc

Last updated

Future plc
Type Public limited company
IndustryMagazine and internet publishing
Founded1985;36 years ago (1985)
Founder Chris Anderson
Headquarters Bath, Somerset, England
Key people
Richard Huntingford
( Non-executive chairman )
Zillah Byng-Thorne
( Chief executive officer )
RevenueIncrease2.svg £339.6 million (2020) [1]
Increase2.svg £93.4 million (2020) [1]
Increase2.svg £44.3 million (2020) [1]
Number of employees
2,300 (2021) [2]
Subsidiaries Future Australia
Future Publishing
Future US
TI Media
Purch Technologies France
Website www.futureplc.com OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

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. [3] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.



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

1985 to 2012

The company was founded as Future Publishing in Somerton, Somerset, England, in 1985 by Chris Anderson with the sole magazine Amstrad Action . [4] An early innovation was the inclusion of free software on magazine covers; they were the first company to do so. [4] It acquired GP Publications so establishing Future US in 1994. [5] From 1995 to 1997, the company published Arcane, a magazine which largely focused on tabletop games. [6]

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. [4] The company was the subject of an initial public offering in 1999. [7] Anderson left Future in 2001. [8]

2012 to 2015: Retrenchment

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. [9] [10]

The company had a period of abandoning 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. [11] In April 2013, it completed the sale of major components of its UK media-music brands for £10.2 million to Team Rock Ltd. [12] In September 2013 – but bought these back for £800,000 in 2017 after Team Rock went into administration. [13]

In August 2013, Future acquired two Australian computing titles, APC and TechLife from Bauer Media Group. [14]

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." [15] 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. [16] Later in 2014, Future sold its sport and craft titles to Immediate Media, and its auto titles to Kelsey Media. [17]

In March 2014, it was announced that the company's CFO Zillah Byng-Thorne would become the company's fourth CEO in nine years on 1 April 2014, after Mark Wood, CEO since 2011, stepped down. [16]

Since 2016: Expansion

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 [18] and acquired Noble House Media to increase its interest in telecoms media. [19] Future then completed the purchase of rival specialist magazine publisher Imagine [20] [21] on 21 October 2016 after receiving approval from the Competition and Markets Authority. [22] 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. [23] 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. [24]

It completed the acquisition of U.S. B2C publisher Purch for $132m by September 2018. [25] [26] Future also purchased nextmedia's computing and tech assets in Australia (including Atomic , Hyper , PC PowerPlay , and PC Tech & Authority) in the same month, and began incorporating PC PowerPlay articles into the online versions of PC Gamer. [27] [28] [29]

In January 2019, Future sold some B2B brands to Datateam Media Group. [30]

In February 2019, Future acquired Mobile Nations including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter for $115 million. [31] [32] Future also acquired ProCycling and CyclingNews.com from Immediate Media. [33]

In July 2019, Future acquired SmartBrief (a digital media publisher of targeted business news and information) for an initial sum of $45 million. [34]

In April 2020, Future acquired TI Media, with 41 brands including Decanter, Country Life , Wallpaper and Woman & Home , for £140 million. [35] Future subsequently divested Amateur Photographer and World Soccer to Kelsey Media and Trusted Reviews to Incisive Media. [36]

In November 2020, Future agreed a £594m takeover of GoCo plc, known for its Gocompare.com price comparison website. [37]

In August 2021, it acquired 12 magazines, including The Week , Computer Active , from the Dennis Publishing. [38]


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

The company also owns the American company Future US. [39]

Selected brands and publications

Some of the more popular brands and publications of Future include: [40]

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Mindscape was a French video game developer and publisher based in Boulogne-Billancourt. The company was founded by Roger Buoy in October 1983 in Northbrook, Illinois, originally as part of SFN Companies until a management buyout was completed in 1987. Mindscape went public in 1988 and was subsequently acquired in 1990 by The Software Toolworks, eyeing Mindscape's Nintendo license. When Toolworks was acquired by Pearson plc in 1994, Mindscape became the primary identity for the development group. Mindscape was then sold to The Learning Company in 1998 and bought out by Jean-Pierre Nordman in 2001. Following the poor performance of its products, Mindscape exited the video game industry in August 2011. Notable titles released by Mindscape include the MacVenture series, Balance of Power, Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight, Legend, Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat, Warhammer: Dark Omen and Lego Island.

<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.

Independent News & Media Irish media organisation, owner of multiple newspapers

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Pearson plc British multinational publishing and education company

Pearson plc is a British multinational publishing and education company headquartered in London, England.

Ascential plc, formerly EMAP, is a British business-to-business media business specialising in exhibitions & festivals and information services. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Meredith Corporation is an American media conglomerate based in Des Moines, Iowa. The company owns magazines, television stations, websites, and radio stations. Meredith's publications have a readership of more than 120 million, paid circulation of more than 40 million, and its websites have nearly 135 million monthly unique visitors. Meredith's broadcast television stations reach 11% of U.S. households.

Dennis Publishing British magazine publisher

Dennis Publishing Ltd. is a British publisher which is a subsidiary of Future plc. It was founded in 1973 by Felix Dennis. Its first publication was a kung-fu magazine.

Business.com is a digital media company and B2B web destination which offers various performance marketing advertising, including lead generation products on a pay per lead and pay per click basis, directory listings, and display advertising. The site covers business industry news and trends for growth companies and the B2B community to stay up-to-date, and hosted more than 15,000 pieces of content as of November 2014. Business.com operates as a subsidiary of the Purch Group since being acquired in 2016.

TI Media

TI Media was a consumer magazine and digital publisher in the United Kingdom, with a portfolio selling over 350 million copies each year. Most of its titles now belong to Future plc.

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.

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Future US, Inc. is an American media corporation specializing in targeted magazines and websites in the video games, music, and technology markets. Headquartered in New York City, the corporation has offices in: Alexandria, Virginia; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Washington, D.C. Future US is owned by parent company, Future plc, a specialist media company based in Bath, Somerset, England.

Imagine Publishing

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<i>MCV/Develop</i> British trade magazine that focuses on the video game industry

MCV/Develop 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. Originally named MCV, it absorbed the assets of sister magazines in 2018, and changed its name to MCV/Develop in 2019.

NewBay Media

NewBay Media, LLC was a magazine and website publisher founded in 2006 and headquartered in New York City.

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 two 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 publishing house owned by Hubert Burda Media, which acquired the company in January 2017.

Purch Group, Inc. was a New York City-based digital media company. Originally established in 2003 as TechMedia Network, Inc., it was positioned as a "portfolio of brands and products focused on purchasing decisions"—consisting primarily of websites focusing on reviews of consumer electronics, positioned to marketers as outlets to "directly engage with buyers in the right place, at the right time".


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  2. "Who we are". Future plc. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
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  5. Cox, Howard; Mowatt, Simon (2014). Revolutions from Grub Street: A History of Magazine Publishing in Britain. Oxford University Press. p. 220. ISBN   978-0199601639.
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  7. "Can new Future CEO end 15 years of boom & bust?". Flashes and Flames. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
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  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. Sweney, Mark (8 January 2017). "No need to fret: Metal Hammer magazine saved from closure". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  14. Christensen, Nic (16 August 2013). "Bauer culls 10 per cent of ad team and sells two titles". Mumbrella. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
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  16. 1 2 Future US streamlined to focus on digital Archived 2014-04-08 at the Wayback Machine , RNS Number : 3903D, Future PLC, 28 March 2014
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  18. InPublishing. "Future acquires Blaze Publishing's business". Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  19. "Future confirms acquisition of Noble House Media | Media Mergers". www.mediamergers.co.uk. 8 April 2016. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
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  22. "Specialist magazines merger could face in-depth investigation - Press releases - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  23. Tom Butts (4 April 2018). "Future Publishing Acquires US Content Business NewBay Media". TV Technology. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  24. Blabbermouth (1 May 2017). "REVOLVER Magazine Sold To Digital Media Company PROJECT M GROUP; Brand Relaunch Planned For This Fall". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  25. "Purch sells B2C imprints to global specialist media publisher Future in $132m deal". The Drum. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  26. "Future buys Purch to boost US revenue". Digiday . 18 July 2018. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
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  28. "Australia, PC PowerPlay is now part of the PC Gamer family". pcgamer. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
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  32. "Accelerates Mobile Nations earnout payment". otp.investis.com. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
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  35. "Proposed Acquisition of TI Media for £140 million". otp.investis.com. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
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  38. "Country Life owner buys Dennis Publishing in £300m deal". the Guardian. 16 August 2021.
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