Time Out New York is releasing their first iPad app, updating their iPhone app and undertaking a new e-commerce model to boot. In case you aren’t familiar with Time Out New York, it’s a magazine dedicated to getting you in touch with the city experience: Food, arts, entertainment, etc., and Time Out North America president Askel van der Wal says the experience is now personalized. When you choose a specific destination or topic, the app remembers your choice and will skew future results in that direction. In a few weeks, Time Out will go further to reportedly show you the overlap between what you like to look at on the Time Out app and what other users do as well.
TechCrunch has a bit more to say:
[quote]More broadly, van der Wal characterizes this as major milestone in Time Out’s shift from the print business into “more of a digital direction.” And that includes settling on a digital business model — the website now allows transactions, so if you read about a great Broadway show or a hot new restaurant, you can buy tickets or reserve a table. Time Out will also be offering discounts and deals. (Advertising will play a role too. In fact, MasterCard will be the first global sponsor of the iPad app.)[/quote]
It’s an interesting approach that has become pretty much de rigueur for technology giants like Google and Facebook, who assume that if you search for “baked beans” once that means everything you search for in the future should somehow be connected to or associated with baked beans (this approach could potentially lead to some really unique pornography, but I digress). Certainly the success of Time Out is unquestionable, but their new foray into iOS is banking on the notion that copying the biggest players (Google, Facebook, etc) makes you a bigger player yourself.