scale

Mobile and the arts: where to start?

For some arts organisations, the array of platforms and devices in digital is bewildering.

For small organisations, perhaps a theatre group, how is awareness and ultimately ticket sales to be improved? Beyond this, the prospect of actually engaging and collaborating via digital media can be daunting or perhaps feel like a pipe dream.

And for large arts organisations, how easy is it to compete with big brands, or big online-first non-profits such as the Khan Academy, when it comes to education and engagement online? Is a multi-pronged mobile strategy, featuring a number of apps and a responsive website, the best approach?

Lots of questions! In this post I’m framing a talk I gave for IT4ARTS last week, at the Barbican. I’ve given some background and fleshed out the challenge for the arts, in digital and on mobile.

I’ve also reviewed a number of mobile apps, looking in particular at the Tate, and there are also some references and jumping-off points to talks by those working and innovating at museums and galleries.

Are brands overestimating the value of social data?

Brands love social media, and as evidenced by the number of high-dollar acquisitions of social media monitoring and analytics firms last year, they love the data that social media generates.

And, on the surface, there’s a good reason for that: popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter give brands a front-row seat to the collective conversation consumers are having about their products and services. From that conversation, brands may, in theory, be able to gain valuable insights that help them connect with consumers and serve them better.

Spotify: growth and scale don’t necessarily produce profit

Spotify is one of the most popular streaming music services in the world, and since its July debut in the U.S. and the recent launch of a deep Facebook integration , it has gained 250,000 U.S. subscribers, bringing the company’s worldwide paid subscriber total to “well north” of 2m.

But it’s not all good news for the Swedish-based company: while revenue grew from just over £11m in 2009 to just over £63m in 2010, during the same period Spotify’s after-tax loss jumped grew by nearly £10m to £26m.

Five ways to fight commoditization of your business

What’s a company’s worst nightmare? There are probably a few of them, but one of the worst is commoditization.

Finding your market filled with competition that looks almost identical
to your business is a frustrating, disheartening experience, but it’s a
common one.

Thanks to the ease with which web-based applications and
business models can be ‘duplicated‘, most new internet companies will
find themselves protected by narrow moats at best.