March 24, 2022

Future solidifies move into video with acquisition of WhatCulture

Future Plc, the global platform for specialist media, has continued its push into video with the acquisition of WhatCulture, the digital-only brand focused on the gaming and entertainment market.

The acquisition will further strengthen Future’s position in video, notably with its expertise in the monetisation on YouTube. With 11 YouTube channels and over 8m subscribers the brand – which makes c70% of its revenue is from the US – is one of the busiest entertainment based websites of its kind.

With its high-quality and informative content from expert contributors across different genres, topics and mediums, WhatCulture will benefit from the Future proprietary technology stack and operating model to drive the platform effect whilst bolstering Future’s gaming and entertainment vertical.

The organisation has complemented this addition to its stable with the acquisition of data insight platform Waive, a data insight platform which provides intelligence on emerging content trends. This acquisition will extend  Future’s “Aperture” data platform and enhanced data science capabilities. Aperture is Future’s proprietary platform that allows advertisers to access Future’s rich first-party audience data captured across its vast portfolio of brands, helping them reach high-intent target audiences. 

Zillah Byng-Thorne, Chief Executive, said:“We are delighted to welcome both WhatCulture and Waive to Future. We look forward to working with WhatCulture to further diversify our content and revenue streams, and are particularly excited about the video monetisation expertise and data insight capabilities that Waive will bring to the Group respectively.”

Peter Willis, Co-founder of WhatCulture said: “We’re really excited to join an organisation like Future which has seen such amazing success. We have real synergies between our desire to create great original content for our audiences. Our YouTube expertise combined with their monetisation and platform know-how will realise great opportunities for further growth in this area and unlock real potential across the business.”

Over the last five years, Future has acquired assets worth £1.4bn and increased its underlying business by more than £2bn. 

Last year it continued its acquisition spree, snapping up the licence to publish, TV and film destination Cinemablend, and ten key brands from Dennis Publishing, all of which extended its foothold in the states. 

As its fiscal year 2021 ended on Sept. 30, Future’s annual revenue grew 79% to £606.8m and operating profit grew to £195.8 million. The company has already stated that earnings for FY22 will be ahead of expectations.