|Type||Public limited company|
|Industry||Magazine and internet publishing|
|Headquarters||Bath, Somerset, England|
(outgoing Chief executive officer)
(incoming Chief executive officer)
|Revenue||£825.4 million (2022)|
|£271.7 million (2022)|
|£122.2 million (2022)|
Number of employees
Purch Technologies France
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. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The company's media brands include TechRadar, PC Gamer, Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, Marie Claire, GamesRadar+, CinemaBlend, Android Central, IT Pro and Windows Central. Zillah Byng-Thorne has been CEO since 2014; Cheddar founder and former Buzzfeed President Jon Steinberg will take over the role in April 2023.
The company was founded by Chris Anderson as Future Publishing in Somerton, Somerset, England, with the sole magazine Amstrad Action in 1985. An early innovation was the inclusion of free software on magazine covers. It acquired GP Publications so establishing Future US in 1994.
Anderson sold the company to Pearson plc for £52.7m in 1994, but bought it back in 1998, for £142 million. The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1999. Anderson left the company in 2001.
In 2004, Future was accused of corruption when it published positive reviews for the video game Driv3r, in two of its owned magazines, Xbox World and PSM2.
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.
The company's CEO and Finance Director both resigned at short notice after a profit warning in October 2011. It was noted that a re-structuring would be necessary as the company moved to a digital model.
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 U.S. 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 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.
In 2018, Future made further major acquisitions. It bought the What Hi-Fi?, FourFourTwo, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome brands from Haymarket and it acquired NewBay Media, publisher of numerous broadcast, professional video, and systems integration trade titles, as well as several consumer music magazines. 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.
Future completed the acquisition of U.S. B2C publisher Purch for $132m by September 2018, and, in February 2019, it acquired Mobile Nations including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter for $115 million. Future also acquired ProCycling and CyclingNews.com from Immediate Media. In July 2019, Future acquired SmartBrief (a digital media publisher of targeted business news and information) for an initial sum of $45 million.
In November 2019, Future acquired TV and digital video production company Barcroft Studios for £23.5 million in a combination of cash and shares. The next year, Future rebranded the division as Future Studios and announced the launch of "Future Originals," an anthology gaming series, a factual series focusing on the paranormal, and a new true crime show, in partnership with Marie Claire.
In April 2020, Future acquired TI Media, with 41 brands for £140 million, and, in November 2020, it agreed a £594m takeover of GoCo plc, known for its Gocompare.com price comparison website. In August 2021, it acquired another 12 magazines for £300 million.
The company was criticised, in February 2022, for the size of the remuneration package being offered to its CEO, Zillah Byng-Thorne. It was noted that she could receive £40 million if the company performs well.
In February 2023, the company announced that Byng-Thorne would step down on 3 April 2023, with Cheddar founder and former Buzzfeed President and COO Jon Steinberg assuming the role of CEO.
In addition to media and magazines, the company has two other businesses:
Future's portfolio of brands included TechRadar, PC Gamer, Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, Marie Claire, GamesRadar+, How it Works, CinemaBlend, Android Central, IT Pro and Windows Central.