Plans to keep them free for the near future.
Time Out has announced that its iPhone city guide apps will remain free for the near future, after seeing download numbers explode after it switched them from paid to free.
The most surprising thing about the story is how poorly the apps were doing as paid titles on the App Store. Time Out's blog post explains that as paid apps, the city guides were averaging just 140 downloads a week. They varied in price between £1.79 and £2.99, meaning that on average, each app was only generating between £250 and £420 a week.
After making them free, the apps jumped up to an average of 8,000 weekly downloads each, a rise of 6,000%. Time Out says that its New York guide even managed to knock Google off the top spot in the free Travel apps chart on the App Store.
"We want to reach the widest audience possible with our app travel guides and we also want as much customer feedback as possible, so that we can continue to optimise the functionality and content to provide what our audience really wants," says Time Out Digital MD David Pepper. "Making the apps free to download was the easiest way to do this."
The company has not said how it plans to make money from the apps now they are free to download. Advertising could play a part, or perhaps premium features paid for via in-app payment.