UK media group Future acquires 35% stake in Handpicked Meda, a marketing agency for independent digital publishers, in move to increase its digital audience, diversify its revenue opportunities
January 24, 2014
– Future plc, the international media group and leading digital business, today announces a strategic partnership with Handpicked Media.
The partnership sees Future 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. And in return Future will drive the effective commercialisation of those sites. Key sites include www.salihughesbeauty.com, www.movie-moron.com, www.recipesfromanormalmum.com, www.beautyandthedirt.com, fashioneditoratlarge.blogspot.co.uk.
As a pioneering agency working in social media, Handpicked Media has curated a growing portfolio of influential sites across a range of lifestyle channels since it was launched 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.
Mark Wood, CEO of Future plc, says: “Handpicked has created a powerful social media proposition, curating a portfolio of leading independent sites and blogs across a range of sectors including beauty, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment. Our partnership grows Future’s digital audience in attractive new sectors and is another signal 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 commercialisation across the collective, with an initial focus on developing the women’s lifestyle offer, under Future Women Managing Director, Jo Morrell.
Jo says: ”Future is all about digital innovation and creative content, and Handpicked Media shares that sensibility. Krista and her team have created a really powerful social platform, which Future can support, expand and commercialise. 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.”
Krista adds: “We are very excited to be working with Future to expand our audiences, while supporting and developing the talent we have. 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.