Factory Media into Voluntary Liquidation

Factory Media, the publishers of Outdoors Magic, Bike Magic and various other outdoor-related web sites including six bike sites and another ten outdoor sites, has informed its creditors that it has gone into voluntary liquidation.

Factory media news item   © UKC News
Factory media news item

Outdoors Magic is one of the older outdoor sites on the internet and has gone through various different stages of ownership since originally being set up in around 2000 by the company Magicalia Ltd. In June 2016 it was sold to Factory Media to add to their other, mainly bike-related brands.

Back in 2012 Factory Media was riding high and published 19 magazines and 25 sports web sites and its digital offering MPORA.COM. It was sold by the Foresight Group to the Forward Internet Group for around £8M. Since then the print magazines have been reduced and the company appears to have been struggling for the last few years and experienced difficulties with managing the new GDPR regulations.

It remains to be seen what the receivers will do with the component parts of the business but it seems unlikely that the creditors will see much of the monies owed. Our sympathy goes out to the employees and creditors who are affected by this.

In June 2011 Factory made a concerted effort to buy UKClimbing Limited. We resisted this at the time since we weren't convinced that they would keep the site going in the way we wanted. Earlier that year they had bought BikeMagic from Magicalia and it appeared that they wanted to use that site to bolster their print magazines, which seemed to be the wrong way round to us.

UKClimbing Limited, the company behind, and Rockfax, remains in private ownership with no third party shareholders and this is the way we intend to keep it for the forseeable future. All profits we make are invested directly back into the business and we are committed to providing content which is in line with our reader's interests of climbing, hillwalking and outdoor sports. This includes the advertising which is used to fund the website as well as the news, articles and functionality which we offer.

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11 Sep, 2018

Outdoors Magic used to be a good site, with a sense of communitynot unlike here.  They used to have a very deep dataset of user-submitted reviews that covered a wide range of outdoor equipment; and then they rebranded and if that dataset is still available, it's well hidden and one of the main draws for the site seems to have vanished.

Coming in the opposite direction, Trail and such have tried, reasonably successfully I think albeit in a smaller way, to generate an online community from their magazines.  Again, much of the use I make of that site is down to reviews about kit and they do have a good dataset available, even if it could be a little better organised (perhaps that's down to metadata?).  

So the owners of Outdoors Magic had something good, seem to have thrown it away and now are in trouble; Trail, with their Live for the Outdoors site, are building something reasonable around much the same thing Outdoors Magic discarded.

UKC/UKH?  Same as ever, and thank goodness for that.  Well done on resisting the offers of filthy lucre!  But the whole business seems to me to point out the commercial value of good data, and the importance of maintaining that; and that's something that UKC/UKH does very well.  Keep on with the good work guys.


11 Sep, 2018

Another victim of private equity greed, sad as it always is when this happen. Good work in keeping UKC independent and a community platform. It makes me shiver just thinking what they were planning to do with it if they had bought it. 

11 Sep, 2018

They took over a windsurfing magazine and two associated websites that were all highly regarded and that I regularly used.  They had a thriving user community but slowly over time Factory got less interested and eventually pulled the plug.  The forum had masses of useful information that has now been lost forever.  Corporate greed.

Keep up the good work UKC.

11 Sep, 2018

Outdoors magic was an ad dump and a rubbish community, the news is no surprise.

13 Sep, 2018

Exhibit A:

Everything about the site is terrible. Appalling outdated design, weak editorial content, abysmal quality of discussion in the forums, lousy performance ... but the world's largest database of recorded sport climbing ascents & route commentary. The latter seems to be enough for it to survive despite all of the former.

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