Future plc

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Future plc
Public
Traded as LSEFUTR
Industry Magazine and internet publishing
Founded 1985; 31 years ago (1985)
Founder Chris Anderson
Headquarters Bath, Somerset, England, United Kingdom
Key people
Peter Allen
(Non-executive chairman)
Zillah Byng-Thorne
(Chief Executive Officer)
Subsidiaries Future US
Website futureplc.com

Future plc is a British media company founded in 1985. It publishes more than 30 magazines in fields such as video games, technology, films, photography, and sport.[1] It is a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling Index. The company also owns the US company Future US.

History[edit]

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]

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; the spin-off magazine continues to be published.[9][10]

The company had a period of shuttering print media properties in favor 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.[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, 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."[13] 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.[14] Later in 2014, Future sold its sport, craft, and auto titles.[15]

In 2016 Future expanded its print portfolio through a series of acquisitions. It bought Blaze Publishing to diversify into the shooting market [16] and acquired Noble House Media to increase its interest in telecoms media.[17] Future then completed the purchase of rival specialist magazine publisher Imagine [18][19] on 21 October 2016 after receiving approval from the Competition and Markets Authority.[20]

Future won the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year Award for the third year in a row in 2010.[21]

Future is the official magazine company of two out of the three major games console manufacturers with Official Nintendo Magazine ceased publishing in October 2014.[8]

Organisation[edit]

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.[14] Peter Allen is chairman.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Young, Eric (6 March 2006). "South S.F. publisher buys another magazine". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Nicholas, Ruth (11 July 1999). "Profile: Chris Anderson: Media with passion". The Independent. London. 
  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. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Androvich, Mark (6 December 2007). "Texas files lawsuit against Future US". Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Vijayan, Jaikumar (7 December 2007). "Texas AG sues two sites for children's privacy violations". Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Rose Proskauer (28 May 2008). "Texas Attorney General Settles One of First State COPPA Enforcement Actions". Proskauer. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Privacy: State Law Approaches to Address Digital Food Marketing to Youth" (PDF). Public Health Advocacy Institute. p. 2. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Another blow to print journalism: Future Publishing profits fall 61%". Gamer Limit. 2009-11-28. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  9. ^ "Future exploring revival of GamesMaster TV show". VideoGamer.com. 2010-03-11. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  10. ^ Aiton, Ewan (1998-02-04). "Games Master, when are you coming back? - News". play.tm. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  11. ^ http://online.hemscottir.com/ir/futr/ir.jsp?page=news-item&item=883747503247192
  12. ^ http://hsprod.investis.com/ir/futr/ir.jsp?page=news-item&item=1505942235512870
  13. ^ Mark Sweney. "Future Publishing to cut 55 jobs". the Guardian. 
  14. ^ a b Future US streamlined to focus on digital, RNS Number : 3903D, Future PLC, 28 March 2014
  15. ^ Sweney, Mark (2014-11-21). "Future Publishing cuts more than 400 jobs as part of restructure". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-12-21. 
  16. ^ InPublishing. "Future acquires Blaze Publishing's business". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  17. ^ "Future confirms acquisition of Noble House Media | Media Mergers". www.mediamergers.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  18. ^ Andrew Parsonage. "Future plc acquire Imagine Publishing for £14.2 million". Future PLC. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  19. ^ "Future completes Imagine Publishing acquisition". Interactive Investor. Retrieved 2016-10-23. 
  20. ^ "Specialist magazines merger could face in-depth investigation - Press releases - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  21. ^ "How Future builds an audience before launching a new title". 
  22. ^ "Board members". Future plc. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 

External links[edit]