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V I I I . 3 I n s t i t u t i o n t o B u s i n e s s m a r ke t s f o r c u l t u ra l
h e r i t a g e c o l l e c t i o n s
In this chapter, a condensed overview will be provided on Institution to Business (I2B)
markets for key cultural heritage resources, which are seen to be mostly images, and to a
much lesser extent film and video footage.
It should be noted, that with regard to images there is a widespread assumption that
licensing to consumers is commercially feasible. Any company or institution that has set up
a digital image bank will of course offer its products also to individual private customers.
Yet, to really create a relevant stream of revenue from private customers, a greater marketing
effort is needed, that might not pay off.
For example: In May 2001, Getty Images had to close, a consumer e-commerce
operation, which it had acquired in May 1999 to expand its business beyond the
professional market by offering prints and framing to consumers online.The relation of
expanding costs to revenues generated (approx. 4% of Getty's total revenue) was no longer
acceptable, and the company re-focused completely on the B2B market. Getty Images,
founded in 1995, has a 25% share in the stock image market. Its prime customers are from
the print media and advertising industry.Today, about 40% of its sales are delivered over the
Internet. (Gates, 2001)
The following overview draws on the report Like light through a prism.Analyzing
Commercial Markets for Cultural Heritage Content, that was commissioned by the Canadian
Heritage Information Network. (CHIN, 1999) The report describes and analyses established
as well as potential commercial markets for the intellectual property of cultural heritage
institutions. It examines five different market segments: broadcasting, publishing,
multimedia, corporate, and advertising. In particular, it focuses on the service standards
required to meet market demands, i.e. the prerequisites of becoming recognised and
effective business partners.
Due to the broad range and in-depth analysis of the report, we will only provide a
condensed summary with two main elements:
a table with key results of the report on factors that support or constrain market
entry and development (this table is a reduced and simplified version of a chart
given in the CHIN report),
a SWOT analysis concerning the fitness of cultural heritage institutions for the I2B
market (the CHIN report does not offer a SWOT, although its results can be easily
Factors that support or constrain market entry and development
The CHIN-report covers markets that are content-driven: publishing, broadcast, multi-
media, as well as non-content-driven: advertising and corporate publishing. In the first
group the core business of the companies is to regularly conceive and create products
themselves, while in the second the enterprises only have a need for certain material on
occasion, e.g. for a marketing campaign or annual corporate report.
Key findings
Across all market segments, photos/images generally hold the greatest interest and
potential (including some cultural news items and images); film and video recordings are
also relevant, albeit to a much lesser extent and mainly for broadcasters (e.g. for