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. It is a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling Index. The company also owns the US company Future US.
|Traded as||LSE: FUTR|
|Industry||Magazine and internet publishing|
|Headquarters||Bath, Somerset, England|
(Chief Executive Officer)
The company was founded as Future Publishing in Somerton, Somerset in 1985 by Chris Anderson with the sole magazine Amstrad Action. An early innovation was the inclusion of free software on magazine covers, the first company to do so. In the 1990s, the company published Arcane, a magazine which largely focused on tabletop games.
In 2007, the State of Texas filed a lawsuit against Future plc for violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. 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." The owner of the other websites settled in March 2008, though the final disposition against Future plc is not public record.
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.
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.
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. music-media brands, including Guitar World and Revolver, to New Bay Media LLC for $3 million. In April 2013, it completed the sale of major components of its UK media-music brands for £10.2 million to Team Rock Ltd. In September 2013 – but bought these back for £800,000 in 2017 after Team Rock went into administration.
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." The company announced in March 2014 that it would close all of its U.S.-based print publications and shift US print support functions such as consumer marketing, production and editorial leadership for Future's international print brands to the UK. Later in 2014, Future sold its sport and craft titles to Immediate Media, and its auto titles to Kelsey Media.
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 and acquired Noble House Media to increase its interest in telecoms media. Future then completed the purchase of rival specialist magazine publisher Imagine on 21 October 2016 after receiving approval from the Competition and Markets Authority. In 2018, Future made further major acquisitions. It bought What HiFi, 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. It intends to complete the acquisition of US B2C publisher Purch for $132m by September 2018.
Future won the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year Award for the third year in a row in 2010.
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.
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. Peter Allen is chairman.
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- "Specialist magazines merger could face in-depth investigation - Press releases - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
- Tom Butts (4 April 2018). "Future Publishing Acquires US Content Business NewBay Media". TV Technology. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "Purch sells B2C imprints to global specialist media publisher Future in $132m deal". The Drum. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
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