Time Out looks to markets as audience reach hit by Facebook algorithm change
Media company Time Out saw its audience numbers slashed by a third last year after a change to Facebook’s algorithm pushed its content further down users’ newsfeeds.
The company reported an average global monthly audience reach of 144m, down 33 per cent on the year before, which it said was “primarily the result of a Facebook algorithm change” in early 2018.
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Despite this, the London-listed firm posted a 10 per cent rise in revenue to £48.8m and cut its pre-tax loss to £15.2m, down from £26.3m the year before.
Time Out, which publishes entertainment listings in 315 cities worldwide, was boosted by strong growth in digital advertising after carrying out high-profile campaigns for clients such as Facebook, Deliveroo and British Airways.
The group has also seen a surge in revenues from its markets division – which operates food markets in various cities worldwide – as it looks to diversify its income away from traditional print publications.
Time Out posted revenue growth of 51 per cent to £9m in its markets business, driven by soaring earnings at its flagship Lisbon outlet.
The firm plans to open new markets in Miami, New York, Boston, Chicago and Montreal this year. Late last year Time Out signed a deal to develop a market in the former Eurostar terminal in Waterloo, which is expected to open in 2021.
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“Our media business materially grew its digital advertising revenue, in a challenging market, and its focus on the most profitable activities drove a significant improvement in the economics of the division,” said chief executive Julio Bruno.
“Most importantly, whether on our print, digital or physical platforms, we will continue to focus on curating the best of the city, helping our global audience go out better.”
Shares in Time Out slipped just over one per cent following the announcement. The company said it is confident in its outlook for the year ahead.