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Future Plc, the global platform for specialist media, published its Annual Report for FY20. Strong results include 56% year-on-year growth in online audiences[1], demonstrating the increasing strength of its website portfolio.

The report details the story behind an exceptional year for the company. Just days after brands across the portfolio delivered record ecommerce revenue performance across Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the report outlines many further growth stories. Through the strength of brands such as PC GamerGuitar World and Tom’s Guide, Future is not only growing its audience scale, but attracting highly engaged, in-market consumers, crucial for advertisers who are looking to maximise return on their spend or trigger an immediate ecommerce transaction.

Despite facing multiple challenges from a broader economic perspective, Future continued its trajectory of growth. Topline revenues grew 56% to £339.6m, which included organic media revenue growth of 23%[2]. Future has committed to growing its brand portfolio, as well as the scale of its editorial operation, which led to the launch of 8 new websites such as Fit & WellPetsradar and My Imperfect Life. This helped drive 56% growth in online audiences (with organic audiences up 48%)[3].

Reflecting on Future’s Ecommerce performance over the crucial Black Friday / Cyber Monday, the sales order values and year-on-year growth was exceptional. Over £64m of affiliate revenues were driven from Future’s core technology lifestyle sites over the week of Black Friday, up 18.5% on the same period in 2019[4]. Huge growth was also driven in the Women’s Lifestyle sector, fuelled by brands such as Woman&Home and Marie Claire in the UK, achieving 84% year-on-year growth[5]. Similarly strong performance was also noted in Music (+131%) and Sports (+309%)[6], demonstrating both the intent-driven nature of Future’s audience over that period, and its ability to convert that intent into a purchase decision through editorial recommendation and proprietary Ecommerce technology.

Zillah Byng-Thorne, Future’s Chief Executive said:

“Future has continued to thrive by knowing what our audiences value most, enabling us to take advantage of the changing market landscape to continue to deliver incredible content to our communities in whatever way meets their needs.

“Our content now reaches one in three adults in the UK and US[7], and our leadership positions are underpinned by a track record of strong, consistent organic growth, and accelerated through acquisitions.

“The results in our report demonstrate the continued strength of our offer, as well as the innovation, fortitude and agility of our business, focused on its purpose, delivered by its people.”

About Future

Future is a global platform business for specialist media with diversified revenue streams. Its content reaches over 1 in 3 adults online in both the UK and the US.

The Media division is high-growth with three complementary revenue streams: eCommerce, events and digital advertising including advertising within newsletters. It operates in a number of sectors including technology, games & entertainment, music, home & gardens, sports, TV & film, real life, women’s lifestyle and B2B. Its brands include TechRadar, PC Gamer, Tom’s Guide, Android Central, Truly, Digital Camera World, Homebuilding & Renovating Show, GamesRadar+, The Photography Show, Top Ten Reviews, Marie Claire, Live Science, Guitar World, MusicRadar, Space.com, What to Watch, Gardening Etc, Adventure and Tom’s Hardware.

The Magazine division focuses on publishing specialist content, with a combined global circulation of over 3 million delivered through more than 115 magazines, and 410 bookazines published a year. The portfolio spans technology, games & entertainment, sports, music, photography & design, homes & garden, country lifestyle, TV & film and B2B. Its titles include Country Life, Wallpaper, Woman & Home, Classic Rock, Decanter, Guitar Player, FourFourTwo, Homebuilding & Renovating, Digital Camera, Guitarist, How It Works, Total Film, What Hi-Fi? and Music Week.

[1] Source: Google Analytics, excluding forums

[2] Source: Future annual report

[3] Source: Google Analytics, excluding forums

[4] Source: Future affiliate revenue Nov 26-Dec 2 2020

[5] Source: Future affiliate revenue Nov 26-Dec 2 2020

[6] Source: Future affiliate revenue Nov 26-Dec 2 2020

[7] Source:‌ ‌comScore‌ ‌Media‌ ‌Metrix,‌ ‌Total‌ ‌Audience‌ ‌%‌ ‌Reach,‌ ‌Oct‌ ‌2018‌ ‌-‌ ‌October‌ ‌2020‌ ‌-‌ ‌Future‌ ‌Plc,‌ ‌Unique‌ ‌Visitors;‌ ‌UK‌ ‌desktop‌ ‌age‌ ‌6+,‌ ‌total‌ ‌mobile‌ ‌18+.‌2‌ ‌‌Source:‌ ‌comScore‌ ‌Media‌ ‌Metrix,‌ ‌Total‌ ‌Audience‌ ‌%‌ ‌Reach,‌ ‌Oct‌ ‌2018‌ ‌-‌ ‌October‌ ‌2020‌ ‌-‌ ‌Future‌ ‌Plc,‌ ‌Unique‌ ‌Visitors;‌ ‌US‌ ‌desktop‌ ‌age‌ ‌2+,‌ ‌total‌ ‌mobile‌ ‌18+‌

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Roland Millaner