Future plc

Future plc
Public
Traded as LSEFUTR
Industry Magazine and internet publishing
Founded 1985; 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 Fledgling Index. The company also owns the US company Future US.

History

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] In the 1990s, the company published Arcane, a magazine which largely focused on tabletop games.

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]

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]

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 intends to complete 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]

Organisation

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.[34]

References

  1. ^ Young, Eric (6 March 2006). "South S.F. publisher buys another magazine". San Francisco Business Times. Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Nicholas, Ruth (11 July 1999). "Profile: Chris Anderson: Media with passion". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 2013-01-14.
  3. ^ Walters, Helen (18 February 2010). "TED's Not Dead, But It Is Aging: The annual conference tries to reach out to a new generation, awkwardly". Business Week. Archived from the original on 2010-02-21. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  4. ^ Androvich, Mark (6 December 2007). "Texas files lawsuit against Future US". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 2014-08-06. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  5. ^ Vijayan, Jaikumar (7 December 2007). "Texas AG sues two sites for children's privacy violations". Archived from the original on 2014-12-08. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  6. ^ Rose Proskauer (28 May 2008). "Texas Attorney General Settles One of First State COPPA Enforcement Actions". Proskauer. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Privacy: State Law Approaches to Address Digital Food Marketing to Youth" (PDF). Public Health Advocacy Institute. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Another blow to print journalism: Future Publishing profits fall 61%". Gamer Limit. 2009-11-28. Archived from the original on 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  9. ^ "Future exploring revival of GamesMaster TV show". VideoGamer.com. 2010-03-11. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  10. ^ Aiton, Ewan (1998-02-04). "Games Master, when are you coming back? - News". play.tm. Archived from the original on 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  11. ^ "How Future builds an audience before launching a new title". Journalism.co.uk. Mousetrap Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09.
  12. ^ Santos, Alexis (7 November 2012). "PlayStation: The Official Magazine being shuttered, will say farewell with holiday issue". Engadget (Joystiq). Archived from the original on 2013-01-22. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-11. Retrieved 2013-06-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-22. Retrieved 2013-06-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Sweney, Mark (2017-01-08). "No need to fret: Metal Hammer magazine saved from closure". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  16. ^ plc, Future. "Future Acquires Leading Technology Brands APC and TechLife in Australia". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  17. ^ Christensen, Nic (2013-08-16). "Bauer culls 10 per cent of ad team and sells two titles". Mumbrella. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  18. ^ Mark Sweney. "Future Publishing to cut 55 jobs". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  19. ^ a b Future US streamlined to focus on digital, RNS Number : 3903D, Future PLC, 28 March 2014
  20. ^ Sweney, Mark (2014-11-21). "Future Publishing cuts more than 400 jobs as part of restructure". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  21. ^ InPublishing. "Future acquires Blaze Publishing's business". Archived from the original on 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  22. ^ "Future confirms acquisition of Noble House Media | Media Mergers". www.mediamergers.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  23. ^ Andrew Parsonage. "Future plc acquire Imagine Publishing for £14.2 million". Future PLC. Archived from the original on 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  24. ^ "Future completes Imagine Publishing acquisition". Interactive Investor. Archived from the original on 2016-10-23. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  25. ^ "Specialist magazines merger could face in-depth investigation - Press releases - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  26. ^ Tom Butts (4 April 2018). "Future Publishing Acquires US Content Business NewBay Media". TV Technology. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  27. ^ Blabbermouth (2017-05-01). "REVOLVER Magazine Sold To Digital Media Company PROJECT M GROUP; Brand Relaunch Planned For This Fall". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 2018-12-23.
  28. ^ "Purch sells B2C imprints to global specialist media publisher Future in $132m deal". The Drum. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  29. ^ "Future buys Purch to boost US revenue". Digiday. 2018-07-18. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  30. ^ "Future acquires nextmedia brands including PC PowerPlay | Media Mergers". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  31. ^ "Australia, PC PowerPlay is now part of the PC Gamer family". pcgamer. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  32. ^ "Did something just happen?". Atomic πi. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  33. ^ Barton, Seth (2019-01-11). "Six of the UK's top B2B brands are now under new ownership". MCV. ISSN 1469-4832. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  34. ^ "Richard Huntingford to take over as Chairman". Future plc. 1 December 2017. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 1 December 2017.

External links