Future plc

Future plc
Traded as LSE: FUTR
Industry Magazine and internet publishing
Founded 1985 (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.


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]


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]


  1. Young, Eric (6 March 2006). "South S.F. publisher buys another magazine". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 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. 1 2 "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. 1 2 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.
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