Time Out to launch global platform

Time Out is preparing to launch a new global platform as part of its radical shift from being a publisher to an e-commerce business that is driven by ticket sales.

Time Out

The company will also launch its first iPad app on 19 August. It is the latest shift for the entertainment group and indicates that Time Out UK could eventually cease publishing a print magazine at all, instead focusing on online, mobile and tablet devices.

Speaking yesterday (12 July) at Iris Worldwide’s Retail Retold event, Paul Thompson, commercial director of Time Out Digital, said that Time Out thinks of itself as a “42-year old start-up” because it has had to radically overhaul its business model to adapt to the changing environment and changing consumer behaviour.

He said: “The way people compile and share information has changed and that has had a detrimental effect on Time Out. It’s now very challenging to be that authoritative voice on going out. We’ve now gone from being ad-funded publisher to a business that has advertising and e-commerce revenue.

“We’re actively considering what to do with the magazine – [free London listings magazine] Scout has just launched and we’re now having to compete.”

He added that the business has a “growing” customer relationship strategy and is looking to introduce recommendation services so that it can serve up more relevant content to users on digital devices based on their personal preferences.

Time Out hopes to become largely funded by ticketing over the course of this year and is looking to acquire live venues so that it can provide an end to end entertainment business that creates and hosts events as well as sells tickets.

It is also hoping to build its role as a ticketing business by creating a platform that allows smaller organisations to “self serve” online ticketing for the 280,000 events in London that are not yet served by ticketing firms.

Time Out Group recently announced that former chief operating officer and president of Time Out New York Aksel van der Wal is to take over as CEO in July after David King said he is stepping down.

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