Time Out London will soon be distributed for free in the capital. The move away from subscriptions and newsagents follows steadily flagging sales, down from 110,000 in the mid-90s to 55,000 today.
The listings magazine will be distributed from stations and cultural venues every Tuesday, with a vastly increased print run of 300,0000. The switch puts the 42-year-old publication in direct competition with the recently launched Scout Magazine, as well as more established titles such as Stylist, Shortlist, Metro and the Evening Standard, all now operating on a freebie model.
What effect the new approach will have on the content of the magazine remains to be seen. Already a slimmer read than it once was, Time Out is set to get still thinner and contain a higher proportion of advertising. Concomitantly, the company's editorial focus appears to be shifting to the online and digital space, with a drive towards personalised recommendations and a new iPad app imminent.
Time Out also recently announced new forays into ticket sales and live events. It hopes to acquire venues in order to put on end-to-end entertainment: creating events, staging them and also selling the tickets.
Image of an old issue nabbed off the internet from somewhere. We would have photographed our subscription copy, but the sodding thing never turns up.