On demand: The Future of Specialist and Passion-Led Media Companies

Collingwood was delighted to be joined by Colin Morrison OBE, Publisher, Flashes & Flames and Elizabeth Deeming, SVP Group, Future to discuss the ways in which specialist media businesses can engage and monetise their audience at our recent webinar, “The Future of Specialist and Passion-Led Media Companies”.

Here are the key takeaways:

Meet your audience where they are

In practical terms consumers spend more time and money on media and entertainment than ever before, but business models have changed. Enthusiasts won’t rely on magazines for all of their information any more, so if you’re only offering print then you’re missing a large proportion of their experience and buying journey.

Disruption for retail is an opportunity for publishing

Everything about digital transformation is about going direct to consumer, and e-commerce presents an opportunity to earn directly from sales. Future’s policy is to focus on content commerce, yielding some impressive results.

Start with the customer and then build structure

Media businesses need a long-term plan for subscriptions and memberships which will allow them to put their arms around a group of people and be versatile enough to move with the changes in the industry. Future’s first tenet is ‘certainty of customer’, which is then underpinned by a live playbook which will support market evolution.

Print isn’t dead…but don’t get comfortable

Future sees their print business as another channel to meet their customers and it’s run by the same brand team who produce digital content. However, businesses with a high legacy reliance on print must be careful that their reliance doesn’t distract from growth opportunities as the pace of change will continue to accelerate.

Your data strategy doesn’t need to be perfect

The switch to digital has cut out wholesalers and retailers, allowing publishers to get closer to their markets and to collect first party data which will help to work with advertisers and commercial partners. Any first party data strategy will help your business to grow, don’t wait for the perfect systems or the perfect teams to start unlocking the power of your data.


  • Andrea Davies, Consumer Practice Lead, Collingwood Advisory 
  • Colin Morrison OBE, Publisher, Flashes & Flames
  • Elizabeth Deeming, SVP Group, Future

Here’s the recording:




Andrea DaviesAndrea Davies, Consumer Practice Lead, Collingwood Advisory

Andrea is an experienced business leader and strategic advisor and has spent over 20 years driving transformation at the forefront of B2C media. Andrea has held executive board positions at IPC Media, Time Inc. UK, TI Media and Future plc, leading strategy, M&A and running significant business units. She played a key role in the sale of Time Inc. UK to private equity in 2018. She set the strategic direction for growth, diversification and value creation, playing a hands-on role expanding brands including Marie Claire, Decanter, Wallpaper and Country Life digitally, internationally and into recurring subscription and membership models. Andrea began her career at Arthur Andersen and gained her ACA qualification before pursuing her passion for media and strategy.

Colin Morrisson OBEColin Morrison OBE, Publisher, Flashes & Flames

Colin publishes Flashes & Flames, the award-winning Global Media Weekly (www.flashesandflames.com). He was previously CEO / managing director of media companies in the UK, Europe, and Australia, including: Axel Springer, EMAP, Australian Consolidated Press, Future, Hearst, and Reed. He started his career as a journalist variously in the UK, Ireland, and the US.


Elizabeth Deeming FutureElizabeth Deeming, SVP Group, Future

Elizabeth leads the B2B division and Ecommerce company-wide at Future plc. She was previously Group Manager Director at Hyve Group.