The Time Out Group Limited conducts most of its business from London, New York and Paris.
The Time Out Group Limited has expanded over the past 40 years to publish listings guides for other cities, travel guides, guides to specific aspects of cities (such as Eating and Drinking guides) and have established a similar presence online.
The Time Out weekly listing magazines for a particular city contains information about events in film, theatre, fashion, literature and all other artistic events happening, as well as eat out and night out sections. Twenty-eight cities and larger areas currently published (December 2009 data) including Amsterdam, London, Chicago, New York, Lisbon, Beijing, Beirut, Dubai, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Cyprus, Moscow, Athens, Singapore, Saint-Petersburg, Bucharest, Almaty, Kiev, Mumbai, New Delhi, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, Shanghai and Barcelona. On 25 March 2008, Time Out Kuala Lumpur launched in the Malaysian capital to become the 24th edition of the magazine known as 'the world's living guide'. A Time Out version for Hong Kong was launched in May 2008. The latest edition of the magazine, Time Out Jakarta, was launched in December 2008. Events listings are complemented with articles, typically featuring celebrities appearing in one of the listed events. Many publications are in English. Weekly city guides are in local languages (e.g. the Athens guide is in Greek). The London edition costs £2.99 per week (May 2009 prices) and has a circulation of 86,000 copies and a readership of 374,000 people (Jan-Jun 2003 figures). These figures are down from a record high of 110,496 achieved in Jan-June 1995. The Mexico City edition was issued from November 2003 to early 2007 along with Chilango magazine but was replaced by the magazine's own events guide, called Guía Chilango.
Whilst the London edition is solely owned by the Time Out Group, other editions are partly or wholly owned by other entities. For instance the ownership of a Chicago edition of the magazine that launched in March 2005 was split 50-50 between the group and Joe Mansueto.
The Singapore edition is licensed out to in-flight magazine publishers Ink Publishing. The founder of Time Out Tony Elliott has said in an interview that he wants to expand to Los Angeles and San Francisco once the Chicago venture has been fully launched. Other editions are not owned by the Time Out Group at all – for instance Time Out Mumbai is operated solely by a publisher licencing the Time Out brand. Some critics in the financial press have questioned whether this business model has allowed the Time Out brand to expand as quickly as it might have.
In addition to the magazines, Time Out publishes food, drink and restaurant guides for London, New York City, Dubai and Paris. For London, its core city, it has also published guides for students, shopping and health and fitness amongst others. Time Out also produces 48 travel guides to cities and regions around the world. The guides are published in the UK by Random House. Although similar in style to other guides, such as those published by Lonely Planet and Rough Guide, the Time Out guides tend to focus on more hip happenings in each city. Time Out was instrumental in bringing about specific listings for gay and lesbian readers, a formula followed now by similar publications.
The Group also publishes an annual film guide, Time Out Film Guide, being a compendium of short reviews of all major film releases. The reviews can be found on the magazine's film home page as well.
The original magazine, with listings for London, was published in 1968 by Tony Elliott. The first issues had a print run of around 5,000. It began as an alternative magazine alongside other members of the underground press in the UK, but by 1980 it abandoned its original collective decision making structure (and commitment to equal pay for all its workers), leading to the foundation of a competing City Limits magazine by former staffers. By now its former radicalism has all but vanished. As one example of its editorial bent in the 1970s, London's Time Out published 60 names of purported CIA agents stationed in England in 1976.
Tony Elliott remains the owner of the Group. In 2003, the Group reported revenues of £25m and a profit of £228,000. Elliott values his company at "more than £30m". The Sunday Times Richlist 2008 valued it at £40m.