Frontline was born out of a vision to create the first dedicated magazine circulation and distribution business managed by specialist and experts in its field.
The idea first came to life in 1986 as a division of magazine publisher Emap. The value of the Frontline operation soon gathered recognition within the industry, and we gained our first joint venture partner in 1988 (Haymarket Media Group) and two years later, we entered a further partnership (with BBC Worldwide/Immediate Media Company) making us the largest magazine sales, marketing, and distribution company in the UK.
It soon became obvious that our unique service offering could be invaluable to other UK publishers and in 1994 Seymour Distribution emerged as a joint venture agreement between ourselves and Hachette Distribution Services. Our focus – to fulfil the UK and international distribution requirements of independent publishers.
In 1997 we merged the Seymour operations with Dennis Publishing’s distribution business introducing a new joint venture partner for the Seymour business and creating what are now Seymour Distribution (UK newstrade distribution for independent publishers) and Seymour International (overseas newstrade distribution for both partnership and independent publishers). Hachette subsequently exited its involvement with Seymour in 2000
In 2008 the Emap magazine division was acquired by Bauer Media who joined the Frontline Group.
In 2013 Frontline acquired the Dennis shareholding to give Frontline 100% ownership of the Seymour business.
In 2016 we started to distribute DC Thompson magazines overseas, picking up the UK distribution in 2019.
In 2017 Frontline purchased the Gold Key Media business expanding our reach into hotels, offices as well as brand to hand distribution. Alongside this business we bought Routes to Retail which gave us a direct route into more specialist retail groups. We also started to distribute magazines for Conde Nast and Hearst.
In 2022 we started to diversify our retail solutions into other products categories starting first with DVD’s working with Tesco.
In 2023 we expanded further into home entertainment and books, and we now provide a full retail solution for Morrisons across books and home entertainment. We work with all the major home entertainment suppliers (including WB, Disney, and Sony).
By 2023 we now have over 68% market share of magazine distribution in the UK across our two newstrade distribution businesses and continue to be the market leading UK exporter of magazines through Seymour International.