Commentary

Future Proposes Acquisition Of Purch's Consumer Division To Gain U.S. Market Lead

Future plc announced its desire to acquire the consumer division of digital publishing and marketplace platform Purch. Future claims the acquisition would give it the top spot in the U.S. in tech publishing and allow it to grow as a platform for specialist media. 

The deal is worth $132 million and would result in the acquisition of Purch’s consumer tech titles, including Tom’s Guide, Tom’s Hardware, Top Ten Reviews and its science titles Space.com and Live Science.

Future titles include TechRadar, Louder and PC Gamer.

Future would also acquire Purch’s ad technology RAMP, which compliments Future’s own technology platform.

Purch’s U.S. market presence also makes it a valuable acquisition for Future, which has seen record growth over the past few years. Through more diversified revenue sources and its gain in niche publishing markets, Future’s acquisition could bolster several areas of the company while allowing it to become a “technology-enabled global platform.” 

Future already reaches more than 100 million readers globally, including 62 million online users and 63 million social-media users. Made up of two divisions, Magazine and Media, Future has set up several revenue streams. Media focuses on three: ecommerce, events and digital advertising.

The melding of proprietary platform and well-executed content is a potent combination, allowing once small companies to become digital leaders that can overtake others.

The state of the digital publishing marketplace is becoming the equivalent of asking an acquaintance “do you rent or own?” with ownership being the desired goal. Companies are on the hunt to acquire platforms that develop proprietary software that could be licensed out. 

Will those efforts at acquiring and licensing software allow some outlets to rival Google or Facebook? 

After a $35 million loss in 2004, Future has spent the past years rebuilding. Since April 2014, the company is worth more than $190 million through careful diversification of revenue streams and a robust ecommerce platform called Hawk. 

In 2017, the company grew its U.S. media revenue by over 40%.  In 2016, that number was 24%. Future has made four other acquisitions over the past year, including NewBay Media. 

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