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Digital Publisher of the Year: Consumer 2017

Congratulations to Immediate Media who are the winners of Digital Publisher of the Year: Consumer 2017



Your ‘Elevator Pitch’


Immediate is not only transforming its own business model, it’s transforming the understanding of what a magazine media business can achieve.


We are investing in new digital engagement platforms like marketplaces (hitched), ecommerce (YourRadioTimes) and TV shopping (JewelleryMaker & Sewing Quarter).


We are growing organically and through strategic M&A. And underpinning all of that is our strategic focus on creating a unified, agile technology platform (Fabric). We have established a team of over 150 technologists – a mid-sized digital agency – at the heart of our business, under Toby Hoon, our CIO and former Director of Customer technology at Tesco.


Set The Scene



Our heritage is in special interest magazine media. Our vision is to create platform solutions which deliver world- class content and services wherever our consumers need them: on mobile, on the free web, in print, at events or on TV and via eCommerce.


Our focus is on creating brands which become essential to our audiences, engaging their passions and inspiring purchases. With that consumer engagement, and a focus on developing innovative technology capabilities, we continue to offer them new products and services, transforming our business model. Immediate’s strategy is based around driving growth through engagement, entrepreneurialism, and engagement.


Underpinning all our strategic activity are three questions:

  • How can we be more relevant to our super-engaged consumers?
  • Where are the game-changing growth opportunities in the special interest economies we serve?
  • How do we acquire and integrate the skills, capabilities and organisational design to allow us to drive those opportunities.


We have used the cash generated from our successful print business in the last five years to drive digital growth through investing in world-class content and an agile technology infrastructure allowing us to take advantage of new business models – eg online market places and TV shopping.




Tell Us The Story



Our strategic priority in 2016 has been to create an integrated digital technology platform which brings together content, commerce and data to maximise the value of our engagement with customers. This massive project has involved investment, focus and collaboration across the whole business to align all our many legacy digital technologies into one single agile platform - Fabric.


Fabric supports our business. It’s a set of capabilities and technology components that underpin our plans and our growth. Fabric is made up of four core components:

  • Content. Our platform is content-led and must be flexible enough for the same content to be viewed across multiple devices as we scale to support a growing audience.
  • Commerce. Immediate now employs a variety of ecommerce business models to deliver value from our consumers – from digital newsstand and subscriptions to TV shopping. Fabric needs to bake in the right technologies to allow this to happen seamlessly.
  • Data. We collect a lot of data on our customers and our strategic focus is on increasingly using this to personalise content or commerce to provide a richer and more engaging experience.
  • People & Productivity. Our tech team is nearly 150-strong across four locations. We have made a point of building up a pool of onshore highly skilled talent. We use external expertise sparingly, preferring to build up our knowledge in-house and using this for competitive advantage.


This year has been the year we brought Fabric to life. Fabric means we can build capability for all across the business. It has meant not just technology change but culture change: Immediate has a large number of brands.


Previously the bigger brands set their own development plans, creating major duplication of effort. Fabric allows us to the see the big picture – move quickly and efficiently, and quickly realise solutions which can benefit all our brands.

We have achieved a great deal in the last year. We are now building once and sharing across brands. We are creating scalable infrastructure. And preparing the way for deeper personalisation for our 19 million customers across our whole business.

The Results


  • Our digital weddings planning site hitched continues to grow rapidly. 2016 saw hitched generate

    1.5million leads for the wedding industry – up 20% YOY – and we now reach over 1.5million consumers monthly through social media – a five-fold growth in the year.

  • Ecommerce – JewelleryMaker is growing rapidly, hitting a record-breaking £2m in revenues in a single month. Wealso laid the ground work for a brand new TV shopping channel – Sewing Quarter – launched in January 2017.

  • Data & Transactions – Our D&T business has had another great year with revenues up 35% on the year.

  • We have created Fabric’s core infrastructure, team hubs are implemented and working efficiently, creating once for all applicable internal stakeholders, following a co-ordinated company-wide priority development plan.


In Partnership with


In Partnership with

AOP - Association of Publishers