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need to intensively co-operate with intermediaries in the sector (including e.g. tourism
Cultural heritage institutions should explore the opportunity to develop unique
physical products related to in-house collections as well as to market and sell
them online.
In order to avoid market failures, cultural heritage institutions should reduce
risks and seek partnerships with established user focused agencies, institutions or
companies (e.g. tourism agencies).
Smaller institutions should intensively co-operate with cultural heritage
intermediaries, networks and portals that aggregate visitors to market their
Digital product development
Developing and marketing digital cultural products (e.g. cultural CD-ROMs) is still a
risky and costly business. Returns from most off-line multimedia products have shown to
be very limited, profit often being not more than 1-3%, with many products not reaching
the break-even point.
Experts recommend that the development of online cultural heritage multimedia be
made the priority, and that an off-line product be offered only in the case of an online
success and a proven demand for such a product.
After the experiences of the last ten years in the multimedia market the willingness of
cultural industry players to put money into cultural multimedia projects will be limited.
Yet, in order to develop attractive products and bring them to a broad market creative and
commercial partnerships might be very helpful.
National and regional governments should support cultural heritage institutions
in developing digital on- and off-line products that bring the richness of their
collections to a broader public. If partnerships between institutions and creative
or commercial companies are needed for market success, appropriate measures
should be put in place to stimulate such partnerships, e.g. public-private co-
financing or sponsorship models.
In order to generate digital cultural products, including material from lesser
known institutions and collections, national and regional governments should
support setting up creative and commercial centres that might favourably be
implemented within organisations that manage cultural heritage networks and
Digital commerce (licensing)
Digital commerce, i.e. selling or licensing digital/digitised objects online, is today ex-
plored by many cultural heritage institutions. Licensing digital surrogates of objects from
(special) collections is seen as the most promising market, yet, it must be highlighted that
this is primarily a Business to Business market.