Future plc (LSE: FUTR, “Future”, “the Group”), the global platform for specialist media, today announces the acquisition of CinemaBlend (the “acquisition”), a premium digital entertainment publisher.
CinemaBlend, based in the US, is a high-growth digital brand focused on the TV, film and entertainment market. Through its website, podcast series, social media channels and newsletters, CinemaBlend provides a platform for enthusiasts and casual fans to discover, explore and discuss films and TV shows, both on streaming services such as Netflix and linear TV such as HBO.
The brand’s website, Cinemablend.com, reached 19.4m monthly unique visitors over the first six months of 2020, representing growth of 118% year-on-year. CinemaBlend generated revenue of $3.1m in the year to 31 December 2019, up from $2.7m in the previous year, and has seen significant online growth since the start of 2019. In 2020 CinemaBlend continued to perform well with the impact of Covid-19 increasing appetite for advice on what to watch on TV, resulting in 28m sessions in June 2020 alone.
The acquisition will:
- Expand Future’s reach of 46m online users in its TV & Film and Games & Entertainment verticals, particularly in the US.
- Provide an opportunity to accelerate the development of Future’s recently launched website Whattowatch.com by establishing a strong market position from which to grow both online brands, as well as benefiting from collaboration, content sharing and new expertise.
- Present opportunities for Future to further diversify the brand’s online revenue streams by deploying Future’s proprietary technology platform, including Hawk – Future’s price comparison technology that helps consumers find the best deals in the market – and Hybrid – Future’s leading advertising technology.
Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO of Future, said: “We are delighted to be adding CinemaBlend to our portfolio of leading entertainment brands. CinemaBlend is a great cultural fit for Future, producing content we are passionate about.
“The acquisition materially expands our market share within the TV & Film and Games & Entertainment verticals in the US, and provides us with a range of opportunities to continue to drive the brand’s growth organically by leveraging our proprietary technology platform.”