Time Out is a magazine published by Time Out Digital Ltd.[2] Created in 1968, the London-based publication has expanded its editorial recommendations to 107 cities worldwide, across 39 countries, with a monthly audience of 40 million readers across content distribution platforms including mobile, website, magazine and events.[3] In 2012, the magazine became a free publication with a weekly readership of over 307,000. In addition to print, the Time Out London website has seven million unique users and one million page views per day.[3] Time Out’s global market presence includes partnerships with Nokia and mobile apps for iOS and Android operating systems.[4] It was the recipient of the International Consumer Magazine of the Year award in both 2010 and 2011 and the renamed International Consumer Media Brand of the Year in 2013 and 2014.[5][6]

History

Time Out started as a magazine created in 1968 by Tony Elliott who used birthday money to produce a one-sheet pamphlet.[7] The first product was titled "Where It's At," before being inspired by Dave Brubeck’s album Time Out.[8] The magazine was initially a counter-culture publication which took a non-conformist stance on issues such as gay rights, racial equality, and police harassment.[9][10] As one example of its early editorial stance, in 1976 London's Time Out published the names of 60 purported CIA agents stationed in England. Early issues had a print run of around 5,000 and would evolve to a weekly circulation of 110,000 as it shed its radical roots.[10][11]

Elliott launched Time Out New York (TONY), his North American magazine debut, in 1995. The magazine procured young and upcoming talent to provide cultural reviews for young New Yorkers at the time.[10] The success of TONY led to the introduction of Time Out New York Kids, a quarterly magazine aimed at families. The expansion continued with Elliott licensing the Time Out brand worldwide spreading the magazine to 36 cities including Istanbul, Dubai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Lisbon.[10]

Additional Time Out products included travel magazines, city guides, and books.[10] In 2010, Time Out became the official publisher of travel guides and tourist books for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[12] There are currently over 100 guide books available from Time Out through its publishing partner Ebury Publishing (an imprint of Penguin Random House).[13]

Time Out's need to expand to digital platforms led to Elliott, sole owner of the group until November 2010, to sell half of Time Out London and 66 percent of TONY to private equity group Oakley Capital, valuing the company at £20million.[14] The group is now owned by Tony Elliott and Oakley Capital, founded by Peter Dubens.[7][14] The agreement provided capital for investment to expand the brand. Time Out has subsequently launched websites for an additional 33 cities including Delhi, Washington D.C., Boston, Manchester and Bristol.[10]

City editions

Time Out London

The London edition of Time Out became a free magazines in September 2012.[9] Time Out's London magazine was hand distributed at central London stations, and received its first official ABC Certificate for October 2012 showing distribution of over 305,000 copies per week which was the largest distribution in the history of the brand.[15][16] This strategy increased revenue by 80 percent with continued upsurge.[17] Time Out has also invited a number of guest columnists to write for the Magazine. The current columnist (2014) is Giles Coren.[18]

Time Out New York

In April 2015, Time Out switched its New York magazine to the free distribution model to increase the reader base and grow brand awareness.[17] This transition doubled circulation by increasing its Web audience, estimated around 3.5 million unique visitors a month.[19] Time Out increased its weekly magazine circulation to over 305,000 copies complementing millions of digital users of Time Out New York.[17][19] Free magazines are distributed at bars, restaurants, gyms, subway stations, and theaters and the web content separate from the magazine is free. In addition, a subscription service is offered to those that prefer the magazine to be physically delivered and paid subscribers have access to a digital edition of the magazine.[17]

Time Out New York Kids

In 1996, following the launch of TONY magazine, Time Out New York Kids was launched as a paid-for quarterly title available via subscription and news stand with a circulation of 55,000.[20]