Future plc

Future plc is an international multimedia company established in the United Kingdom in 1985. The company has over 220 brands that span magazines, newsletters, websites, and events in fields such as video games, technology, films, music, photography, home, and knowledge.[2] Zillah Byng-Thorne has been CEO since 2014. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Future plc
TypePublic limited company
IndustryMagazine and internet publishing
Founded1985 (1985)
FounderChris Anderson
HeadquartersBath, Somerset, England
Key people
Richard Huntingford
(Non-executive chairman)
Zillah Byng-Thorne
(Chief executive officer)
Revenue £606.8 million (2021)[1]
£195.8 million (2021)[1]
£66.1 million (2021)[1]
Number of employees
2,395 (2021)[1]
SubsidiariesFuture Australia
Future Publishing
Future US
TI Media
Purch Technologies France


Future's founder Chris Anderson in 2007


The company was founded as Future Publishing in Somerton, Somerset, England, in 1985 by Chris Anderson with the sole magazine Amstrad Action.[3] An early innovation was the inclusion of free software on magazine covers; they were the first company to do so.[3] It acquired GP Publications so establishing Future US in 1994.[4] From 1995 to 1997, the company published Arcane, a magazine which largely focused on tabletop games.[5]

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.[3] The company was the subject of an initial public offering in 1999.[6] Anderson left Future in 2001.[7]


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.[8][9]

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

In August 2013, Future acquired two Australian computing titles, APC and TechLife from Bauer Media Group.[13]

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."[14] 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.[15] Later in 2014, Future sold its sport and craft titles to Immediate Media, and its auto titles to Kelsey Media.[16]

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.[15]


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

It completed the acquisition of U.S. B2C publisher Purch for $132m by September 2018.[24][25] 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.[26][27][28]

In January 2019, Future sold some B2B brands to Datateam Media Group.[29]

In February 2019, Future acquired Mobile Nations including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter for $115 million.[30][31] Future also acquired ProCycling and CyclingNews.com from Immediate Media.[32]

In July 2019, Future acquired SmartBrief (a digital media publisher of targeted business news and information) for an initial sum of $45 million.[33]

In April 2020, Future acquired TI Media, with 41 brands including Decanter, Country Life, Wallpaper and Woman & Home, for £140 million.[34] Future subsequently divested Amateur Photographer and World Soccer to Kelsey Media and Trusted Reviews to Incisive Media.[35]

In November 2020, Future agreed a £594m takeover of GoCo plc, known for its Gocompare.com price comparison website.[36]

In August 2021, it acquired 12 magazines, including The Week and Computer Active, from Dennis Publishing.[37]

In January 2022, Future signed a deal with Spotlight Sports Group to get sports betting content. As per the deal, Future PLC will include odds-driven modules in content across its FourFourTwo brand. The modules are specifically designed to allow FourFourTwo to build new sports betting value.[38]

In May 2022, Future acquired the women’s lifestyle platform Who What Wear from the US company Clique Brands.[39]


One of Future's offices in Bath

The company also owns the American company Future US.[40]


Future's portfolio of brands skews heavily into technology and gaming, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, Marie Claire, GamesRadar+, CinemaBlend, Android Central, and Windows Central.[41][42] As of October 2022, Comscore ranks Future as the 44th most popular media company among users from the United States, behind Conde Nast and Netflix.[43]

In 2022, the company's media brands reached 313 million people worldwide – approximately 1 in 3 adults online in the US and the UK – 4.8 million in print, and 117 million across social platforms.[44] Future was described by The Guardian in September 2022 as "one of Europe’s biggest and most successful digital media companies".[45]


  1. "Annual Report 2021" (PDF). Future plc. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  2. Young, Eric (6 March 2006). "South S.F. publisher buys another magazine". San Francisco Business Times. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  3. Nicholas, Ruth (11 July 1999). "Profile: Chris Anderson: Media with passion". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013.
  4. Cox, Howard; Mowatt, Simon (2014). Revolutions from Grub Street: A History of Magazine Publishing in Britain. Oxford University Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0199601639.
  5. "Arcane". Noble Knight. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  6. "Can new Future CEO end 15 years of boom & bust?". Flashes and Flames. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  7. 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 21 February 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  8. Santos, Alexis (7 November 2012). "PlayStation: The Official Magazine being shuttered, will say farewell with holiday issue". Engadget (Joystiq). Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  9. "Another blow to print journalism: Future Publishing profits fall 61%". Gamer Limit. 28 November 2009. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  10. "Future PLC - Sale of New York Music Division". Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  11. "Future PLC - Completion of Sale of Classic Rock & Metal Hammer". Archived from the original on 22 July 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  12. 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.
  13. Christensen, Nic (16 August 2013). "Bauer culls 10 per cent of ad team and sells two titles". Mumbrella. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  14. Mark Sweney (3 September 2013). "Future Publishing to cut 55 jobs". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  15. Future US streamlined to focus on digital Archived 2014-04-08 at the Wayback Machine, RNS Number : 3903D, Future PLC, 28 March 2014
  16. Sweney, Mark (21 November 2014). "Future Publishing cuts more than 400 jobs as part of restructure". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  17. InPublishing. "Future acquires Blaze Publishing's business". Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  18. "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.
  19. Andrew Parsonage. "Future plc acquire Imagine Publishing for £14.2 million". Future PLC. Archived from the original on 2 August 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  20. "Future completes Imagine Publishing acquisition". Interactive Investor. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  21. "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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. "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.
  25. "Future buys Purch to boost US revenue". Digiday. 18 July 2018. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  26. "Future acquires nextmedia brands including PC PowerPlay | Media Mergers". 14 September 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  27. "Australia, PC PowerPlay is now part of the PC Gamer family". pcgamer. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  28. "Did something just happen?". Atomic πi. Archived from the original on 21 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  29. Barton, Seth (11 January 2019). "Six of the UK's top B2B brands are now under new ownership". MCV. ISSN 1469-4832. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  30. "Future : Acquisition of Mobile Nations | MarketScreener". m.marketscreener.com.
  31. "Accelerates Mobile Nations earnout payment". otp.investis.com. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  32. "Back to Future: Immediate sells CyclingNews and Procycling to Future plc, their previous owner". Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  33. "Acquisition of SmartBrief". otp.investis.com. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  34. "Proposed Acquisition of TI Media for £140 million". otp.investis.com. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  35. Mayhew, Freddy (20 April 2020). "Future completes £140m takeover of TI Media as coronavirus hits both businesses". Press Gazette. Retrieved 24 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. Sweney, Mark (25 November 2020). "Country Life publisher Future to buy GoCompare for £594m". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  37. "Country Life owner buys Dennis Publishing in £300m deal". The Guardian. 16 August 2021.
  38. "Spotlight Sports Group sign new content deal with Future PLC". www.fortunegames.com. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  39. Cameron, Isabel (11 May 2022). "UK publisher Future acquires Who What Wear -". Charged. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  40. "Future US, Inc. Private Company Information". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  41. "Future Celebrates Market Leading Position As Largest Tech News Publisher". GlobeNewswire. 23 September 2022. Archived from the original on 12 November 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  42. Partis, Danielle (15 September 2022). "Future makes editorial layoffs despite 'high' revenue projections". GamesIndustry. Archived from the original on 15 September 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  43. "Rankings". Comscore, Inc. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  44. "FY2022 Annual Report" (PDF). Future plc. 3 November 2022. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  45. "Shares in Marie Claire publisher Future plunge as chief announces departure". the Guardian. 20 September 2022. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
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