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Time Out meets digital challenge by expanding e-commerce

London entertainment and listings publication, Time Out, has said the increasingly dominant trend towards the digitalisation of media will in future lead it to focus on directly facilitating access to ticketed events, rather than merely serving as a source of listings information.

The publisher is taking steps even further in this direction by trying to purchase venues where it can both organise and promote its own live events.

In this way, it hopes to gain greater control over the content of shows to give its ticket offerings maximum appeal, as well as securing revenue directly from the proceeds of events rather than simply from ticket sales commissions.

Many commentators view the fact that this announcement coincides with the launch of the publisher’s first iPad app next month as the strongest indication yet that Time Out will increasingly marginalise, if not abandon altogether, its traditional print magazine activity.

As if to fuel this conjecture, Time Out Digital’s commercial director, Paul Thompson, 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 an ad-funded publisher to a business that has advertising and e-commerce revenue.”

Thompson added that Time Out also intended to provide tailored information to users of digital devices such as smartphones and iPads, based on feedback regarding their specific customer needs.

The move comes at a time when many print publishers are having to address the growth of digital media.

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