Future plc

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Future plc
TypePublic limited company
IndustryMagazine and internet publishing
Founded1985; 38 years ago (1985)
FounderChris Anderson
HeadquartersBath, Somerset, England
Key people
Richard Huntingford
(Non-executive chairman)
Zillah Byng-Thorne
(outgoing Chief executive officer)
Jon Steinberg
(incoming Chief executive officer)
RevenueIncrease £825.4 million (2022)[1]
Increase £271.7 million (2022)[1]
Increase £122.2 million (2022)[1]
Number of employees
2,989 (2022)[1]
SubsidiariesFuture Australia
Future Publishing
Future US
TI Media
Purch Technologies France
Websitewww.futureplc.com Edit this at Wikidata

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] 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;[3] Cheddar founder and former Buzzfeed President Jon Steinberg will take over the role in April 2023.[4]


Chris Anderson in 2007


The company was founded by Chris Anderson as Future Publishing in Somerton, Somerset, England, with the sole magazine Amstrad Action in 1985.[5] An early innovation was the inclusion of free software on magazine covers.[5] It acquired GP Publications so establishing Future US in 1994.[6]

Anderson sold the company to Pearson plc for £52.7m in 1994, but bought it back in 1998, for £142 million.[5] The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1999.[7] Anderson left the company in 2001.[8]

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.[9]


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.[10][11]

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.[12]

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 U.S. print support functions such as consumer marketing, production and editorial leadership for Future's international print brands to the UK.[3] Later in 2014, Future sold its sport and craft titles to Immediate Media, and its auto titles to Kelsey Media.[14]

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.[3]


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.[15] 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.[16]

Future completed the acquisition of U.S. B2C publisher Purch for $132m by September 2018,[17][18] and, in February 2019, it acquired Mobile Nations including Android Central, iMore, Windows Central and Thrifter for $115 million.[19][20] Future also acquired ProCycling and CyclingNews.com from Immediate Media.[21] In July 2019, Future acquired SmartBrief (a digital media publisher of targeted business news and information) for an initial sum of $45 million.[22]

In November 2019, Future acquired TV and digital video production company Barcroft Studios for £23.5 million in a combination of cash and shares.[23] 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.[24]

In April 2020, Future acquired TI Media, with 41 brands for £140 million,[25] and, in November 2020, it agreed a £594m takeover of GoCo plc, known for its Gocompare.com price comparison website.[26] In August 2021, it acquired another 12 magazines for £300 million.[27]

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.[28]

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.[4]


One of Future's offices in Bath

In addition to media and magazines, the company has two other businesses:

  • Future Studios is its video division, built upon the acquisition of Barcroft Media in 2019.[29]
  • Marketforce is its sales, marketing and distribution company, acquired as part of a 2019 deal with TI Media.[30]


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.[31][32][33]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2022" (PDF). Future plc. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  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. ^ a b c Future US streamlined to focus on digital Archived 2014-04-08 at the Wayback Machine, RNS Number : 3903D, Future PLC, 28 March 2014
  4. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (22 February 2023). "Jon Steinberg, Former BuzzFeed and Cheddar Exec, Tapped as CEO of U.K. Publisher Future". Variety.
  5. ^ a b c Nicholas, Ruth (11 July 1999). "Profile: Chris Anderson: Media with passion". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013.
  6. ^ Cox, Howard; Mowatt, Simon (2014). Revolutions from Grub Street: A History of Magazine Publishing in Britain. Oxford University Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0199601639.
  7. ^ "Can new Future CEO end 15 years of boom & bust?". Flashes and Flames. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Lui, Spandas (30 March 2010). "A history of gaming's biggest scandals". PC World. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "Future CEO and FD resign, names replacements". Reuters. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ "Future buys Purch to boost US revenue". Digiday. 18 July 2018. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Future : Acquisition of Mobile Nations | MarketScreener". m.marketscreener.com.
  20. ^ "Accelerates Mobile Nations earnout payment". otp.investis.com. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Back to Future: Immediate sells CyclingNews and Procycling to Future plc, their previous owner". Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Acquisition of SmartBrief". otp.investis.com. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  23. ^ televisual.com. "Televisual Business Magazine For The Broadcast & Production Community". Televisual. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  24. ^ "True Crime Series 'On the Record with Marie Claire' at Future Studios". Variety. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  25. ^ "Proposed Acquisition of TI Media for £140 million". otp.investis.com. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  26. ^ Sweney, Mark (25 November 2020). "Country Life publisher Future to buy GoCompare for £594m". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  27. ^ "Country Life owner buys Dennis Publishing in £300m deal". The Guardian. 16 August 2021.
  28. ^ "Country Life publisher reeling after shareholder revolt over executive pay". The Guardian. 3 February 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  29. ^ televisual.com; Reporter, Staff (15 November 2019). "Barcroft Studios bought by Future plc for £23.5m". Televisual. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  30. ^ "Why Future is buying TI Media". Flashes & Flames. 1 November 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  31. ^ "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.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Staff (16 August 2021). "UK's Future Plc to buy 'The Week' publisher for $415 mln". Reuters. Retrieved 10 February 2023.

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