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Future bucks trend as online advertising sales rise

By on January 27, 2009
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Future Publishing saw online advertising rise 25% in the fourth quarter of 2008, while the whole market grew by only 48% (Source: Pubmatic. NB predominantly US data).

Future’s revenues grew by 1%, saved almost entirely by the increase in web advertising as print advertising fell by 4% and circulation revenues fell 2%.

Games is Future’s biggest sector (32% of FY08 revenues) and it had a challenging quarter “driven by an accelerated decline in PC gaming and the very tough US advertising environment.” The other three sectors (Technology, Music & Movies and Active) were described as “resilient”.

I expect Future to take a knife to its games print activities this quarter. PC Zone and PC Gamer are likely candidates to be merged. The rapid migration to online content and advertising will be fastest in games, and Future will need to act to get ahead of the falling curve.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com