Future Acquires Stake in Handpicked Media - a marketing agency for independent digital publishers - creating Handpicked Future

Jan 24, 2014, 10:00 ET from Future plc

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Future plc, the international media group and leading digital business, today announced a strategic partnership with Handpicked Media.   

Through the partnership, Future will acquire a 35% stake in Handpicked Media, which represents over 500 independent websites and blogs, reaching over 3.5 million unique users a month in the UK and six million globally.  The Handpicked Future partnership provides Future with access to Handpicked's roster of influential blogs and independent sites across a range of lifestyle channels including Fashion, Beauty and Entertainment.  In return, Future will drive the effective commercialization of those sites.  Key sites include www.salihughesbeauty.com/, www.movie-moron.com, www.recipesfromanormalmum.com/, www.beautyandthedirt.com and fashioneditoratlarge.blogspot.co.uk/.

As a pioneering agency working in social media, Handpicked Media has curated a growing portfolio of influential sites across a number of lifestyle categories since its launch in 2009 by entrepreneur Krista Madden.  It manages the interaction between its community and a range of consumer brands, offering clients an array of opportunities to reach a very targeted and highly engaged audience.

"Handpicked has created a powerful social media proposition, curating a portfolio of leading independent sites and blogs across a variety of sectors including beauty, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment," said Mark Wood, CEO, Future plc.  "Our partnership grows Future's digital audience in attractive new areas and is another sign of Future's intention to deliver greater audience engagement and diversified revenue opportunities from digital platforms."

Handpicked Future solutions include social media strategy, blogger outreach, content creation, events and integrated campaigns for a range of brand partners including Gucci, Karen Millen, Vodafone, Nivea and Intel.  Future will drive the next phase of commercialization across the collective, with an initial focus on developing the women's lifestyle offer, under Future Women Managing Director, Jo Morrell.

"Future is all about digital innovation and creative content and Handpicked Media shares that sensibility," said Jo Morrell, Managing Director, Future Women.  "Krista and her team have created a really powerful social platform, which Future can support, expand and commercialize. Our award-winning digital excellence offers tremendous opportunities for lifestyle, fashion and beauty brands to deeply engage their audiences through Handpicked Future.  I'm thrilled to seal this partnership."

"We are very excited to be working with Future to expand our audiences, while supporting and developing the talent we have," said Krista Madden, Founder, Handpicked Media.  "The combined expertise of the new Handpicked Future team brings innovation and a unique proposition across social and digital platforms." 

Future reaches 58 million global unique users a month online and in the last year sold over five million digital editions of its products for tablet and smartphone devices. Future is the PPA and AOP Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year and the BMA Media Company of the Year.

About Future plc:

  • Future plc is an international media group and leading digital business, listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR).
  • Future has been named Consumer Digital Publisher of the Year for three years in a row by the Association of Online Publishers (2011, 2012, 2013) and has been named the Professional Publishers Association Digital Publisher of the Year for two consecutive years (2012, 2013). Future is also the British Media Awards Media Company of the Year.
  • We have operations in the UK, US and Australia creating more than 200 publications, apps, websites and events.
  • We hold market-leading positions in Technology, Games, Guitar, Creative and Sport & Auto sectors.
  • We attract more than 57 million monthly global unique users to our websites, which include techradar.com, gamesradar.com, bikeradar.com and musicradar.com.
  • Future sold more than 19 million magazines last year, that's 37 magazines sold every minute. Our most well-known brands include T3, Cycling Plus, Total Film, Mollie Makes and Xbox: The Official Magazine.
  • Future has developed its own app-creation software, FutureFolio. We produce over 100 digital editions, and have sold over 5 million digital issues in the last year.
  • Future exports or syndicates 218 publications to over 92 countries, making us the UK's number one exporter and licensor of magazine content.
  • Follow Future plc on Twitter at www.twitter.com/futureplc and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/future-publishing

About Handpicked Media:

  • Handpicked Media is a marketing agency for over 500 independent digital publishers with channels across a range of lifestyle sectors including fashion, beauty, entertainment, food, lifestyle and parenting, set up in 2009 by Krista Madden.
  • Handpicked Media have a UK reach of 3.5 million monthly unique users in the UK and six million unique users globally and our sites include www.salihughesbeauty.com/, www.movie-moron.com, www.recipesfromanormalmum.com/, www.beautyandthedirt.com, fashioneditoratlarge.blogspot.co.uk/.
  • Handpicked Media were voted 'Best Breakthrough Agency' in the MAA Awards (2013).

    "Handpicked Media are a new, fresh type of agency that have demonstrated the importance of blogging and made brands, agencies and industry bodies sit up and finally take notice of blogging as a valuable and compelling media. They have proven the online sales uplift and cemented Handpicked Media's strong position within the digital media space." (MAA Awards committee, 2013)

SOURCE Future plc