US business suffers delays, Future’s half-year results show

Future plc, a UK-based media company, released its first-half results on Thursday, indicating a late start to its fiscal year with flat overall revenue from October 2022 to March 2023 compared to the previous year. The US side of the business performed worse than the UK division with declining viewership and revenue. CEO John Steinberg, who recently joined Future plc, stated that the company will focus on short-form video and strengthen its US sales strategy. The company also increased its newsletter subscribers by 52% to over 15 million and increased social followers by 34%.

Future plc’s audience fell 19%, primarily due to pressure on the consumer technology market and a decline in the gaming, entertainment, and tech sectors. The company’s direct, social and referral traffic is growing faster than traditional search and now accounts for 39% of Future plc’s audience composition, an 8 percentage-point increase from 2019. The company is focused on becoming a US company in 2021 and has begun acquisitions. Future plc’s US business declined significantly year-on-year compared to its UK division. US affiliate income was down 24% in real terms.

Steinberg outlined Future’s plans to grow its branded content business through social video campaigns, focusing on categories that are attractive to advertisers such as home, women’s fashion and beauty, and wealth. The company will need to push content to platforms such as TikTok, Instagram Reel, and YouTube short to monetize branded content.

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