Information Papers index page

nof-logo

nof-digitise Technical Advisory Service

Income generation and sustainability

Commissioned from Harvard Consultancy Services Ltd by UKOLN on behalf of NOF in association with the People's Network

An Information Paper from the NOF Technical Advisory Service

Projects funded through the nof-digitise programme are expected to remain sustainable for at least three years beyond the lifetime of NOF funding. Therefore projects must give consideration to ways of establishing a sustainable basis for development. Although it is a requirement that content funded through the programme must be made available free to users at the point of access, there are a number of ways in which this content can be used to generate income whilst still fulfilling this requirement.

This paper is intended to be used as a means of focussing on the issues associated with income generation and sustainability for digitisation projects. The advice given is for guidance and should not be seen as the only solution. It is recommended that each project should be reviewed on its own merits, using these guidelines as a starting point. The paper covers the following range of income generating options available and considers their advantages and disadvantages for NOF funded projects:

  • Sale of content on-line
  • Subscription-based services
  • Licensing of collections to third parties
  • Advertising
  • Affiliate programs
  • Sponsorship
  • Online shops
  • Portals

This paper has been written assuming that most NOF projects will be working with a range of digitised content, which includes text, image, video and audio. However, as the most mature area in this sector for revenue generation is that for the digital image, we have focussed more in this area when giving examples.

It is also important to appreciate the difference between sustainability and income generation. The former does not necessarily rely on the latter. For example, an institution could decide that its digital library is a core service and should be maintained and developed from the central budget - particularly as many institutions’ customers are coming to expect such digital services.

Finally, a few words on intellectual property rights and copyright. Before considering any of the income generating options, it is important that each institution understand the rights position regarding their collections. Each consortium must tackle this issue in its own way and come to its own agreement with all partners and suppliers of content/images. If there is any doubt about the rights position for a consortium’s collection it is strongly recommended that it is not used in any way to generate revenue.

A useful book on rights and related issues, Guide to Copyright for Museums and Galleries, has been produced by Peter Wienand, Anna Booy and Robin Fry, in conjunction with the Museums Copyright Group [1].

The copyright consultant Sandy Norman has published a number of titles covering copyright across a range of libraries in conjunction with the Library Association. More information is available from the Library Association Web site [2].

An excellent paper by the Networked Services Policy Taskgroup covering copyright and the networked environment is available from the EARL Web site [3].

In addition, the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) [4] has useful guidelines on good practice for digitisation projects. Digital content can also be deposited with VADS, through both voluntary submissions and strategic alliances. This benefits content providers by providing a long-term archival home for the materials in which they have invested time, effort and money. Providers also benefit from VADS promoting the digital collections and the organisations who created them. There is a licence agreement online [5] that may be useful, although it does not deal with the commercial sale of content.

Target markets

There are a number of ways in which income can be generated directly from digitised material. Before looking at the specific mechanisms, it is important to understand the target markets available. Generally speaking, there are three main target markets:

  • The public
  • Commercial organisations
  • The culture and education sectors

The public

This is a notoriously difficult sector to generate revenue from, especially when using the Internet as a channel to market. It is estimated that as at August 2000, there were over 17.5 million UK users of the Internet, representing almost one fifth of the population [6]. In the short to medium term, this is expected to continue growing at the rate of around 11,000 new users per day [6]. This rate of explosive growth has been greater than the take-up of almost any other technology platform, including radio, TV and telephone.

Usage started to accelerate in 1995, with the largest increases during 1999-2000. As such, it is still very much an immature medium through which to market (As an example, commercial direct telephone services - such as telephone banking and insurance services - only started maturing in the 1990’s, 10 or so years after they first came to market and over 115 years after the phone was invented!) It is not expected that the Internet will take anything like this long to mature, but the reality is that it is still a very young medium, particularly for selling.

New business models are still developing and predicting successful models is not easy. Few could have predicted, for example, the success of online auction services, such ebay [7] and qxl [8].

The public are also very nervous of using online commerce, especially when using credit cards. Recent high-profile security scares from major organisations’ Web sites have done little to help this.

It should be remembered also that a large percentage of the population still currently do not have Internet access or the knowledge of how to use it and many do not have credit cards. The demographics of the Internet consumer-base are not that of a typical retail or mail order business opportunity. This needs to be considered when reviewing potential business opportunities. However, the Government is committed to providing universal Internet access, and all UK public libraries will be offering public access to the Internet by 2002.

Typical revenue levels generated from sales directly to the public are very much lower than those for commercial sales. Experience of organisations that deliver digital content is that a typical content sale to the public will result in revenue of around 5 - 15 per item. To get a sufficient return on investment, selling in this area may require a high volume of sales per item of content.

Some examples of cultural institutions that sell content online include: The British Museum [9], The Natural History Museum [10], SCRAN [11], and HPAC [12].

Content sales are not the sole source of income into this sector, as there will be opportunities to generate additional revenue from other sources, such as advertising, affiliate programs and sponsorship. These are covered in more detail later in this paper.

Finally, any business opportunities in this area will need to be supported by a marketing strategy and related resource and budget.

What does this mean to organisations planning to sell their digital collections?

Currently, direct selling to the public using the Internet is risky and revenue levels are likely to be fairly low. Any revenue plan based primarily around public sales needs to be realistic; detailed cash-flow forecasts should be prepared showing likely sales and revenue figures. There may be value in providing a public-facing sales opportunity as part of a wider offering, as long as it is not the primary source of income.

Commercial organisations

This sector presents the opportunity to generate the most revenue from the sale of digitised assets. However, it is not an easy route and is one that needs to be considered very carefully.

Some organisations can certainly generate income from the sale of content in this sector. For example many of the leading national museums and cultural institutions have commercial photo libraries that generate substantial revenues including The British Museum [9], Natural History Museum [10], SCRAN [11] and HPAC [12].

To illustrate the potential for business to business content sales in this sector, one cultural organisation, having similar content to a library or museum, sells conventional (non-digital) copies of its photos and transparencies. It does not market the images and relies on word of mouth. In 1998, they generated around 125,000 from the sale of around 5,000 images - mainly to publishers and media organisations for use as book covers, pictures for magazines and advertising. Although this is not a unique example it should be said that this particular organisation has excellent staff and some good collections that are in demand, however it proves a point that revenue can be generated from cultural content.

Few cultural institutions currently have operational business to business sites on the Web. Examples of institutions having their own internal commercial libraries include (note that these are links to the main site and not to a specific commercial service): The Victoria & Albert Museum [13], Science Museum [14], Imperial War Museum [15], Royal Geographical Society [16], Royal Photographic Society [17] and The British Library [18].

However, be very careful when trying to assess the value of your content, as many cultural institutions believe that they are sitting on a gold-mine and this is not always the case. It is all about the real value and saleability of content. Marketing is an important consideration too as the institution highlighted in the illustration above has a reputation and contacts built up over a long period of time that many institutions will not have.

ICT can provide benefits in automating many of the processes associated with meeting customer demand for commercial product.

However, there are several major issues associated with commercial content sales:

  • Protection of rights – as in any method of commercial exploitation, projects must ensure that IPR and copyright is not abused, either intentionally or unintentionally
  • Billing – especially when purchasers may be from overseas, in different time-zones using their own currencies
  • Marketing the service and images effectively enough to meet revenue targets

What does this mean to organisations planning to sell their digital collections?

To exploit these commercial opportunities institutions need to become, in effect, a commercial content library.

This may not be feasible or desirable for many. However, there are several choices available that could overcome this:

  • Work with other consortia to aggregate collections and share infrastructure. This collective approach could provide the infrastructure necessary to deliver a commercial service, whilst giving an acceptable balance between income generation and the effort required to run it.
  • Approach existing commercial content services and explore opportunities to use their existing infrastructure and marketing to help sell collections. This approach is covered in more detail later in this paper.

Content sales are not the sole source of income into this sector, as there will be opportunities to generate additional revenue from other sources, such as advertising, affiliate programs and sponsorship which are covered in more detail later in this paper.

Again, it is recommended that detailed and realistic revenue and cash-flow forecasts are created if this is a chosen option.

The culture and education sectors

These sectors provide further opportunities to generate subscription or license revenue. This sector has the demand as well as the infrastructure (in most cases) to use such a service. However, funds to date have been limited and it is unlikely that cultural institutions or education establishments would commit to funding multiple services.

The recently announced guidance from the DfEE on the development of the National Grid for Learning in 2000/2001 however, requires 15% of budgets to be spent on ‘developing and providing content’ [19]. This is part of a long term strategy to encourage the continuing development of an educational software industry that will provide high quality resources. Schools, LEAs and Regional Broadband Consortia may therefore provide both a market, and also a mutually beneficial source of partnerships. The Regional Broadband Consortia are, in some cases, developing their own digital learning resources, and it may be possible to build long term partnerships which will include the hosting and delivery of digital learning resources [20]. Becta [50] have developed a Curriculum Software Initiative, giving information to support developers of educational software and digital learning resources.

It is this sector that is likely to provide more two-way transactions between projects and third parties - cultural and educational organisations probably offer the greatest opportunities for projects and consortia to work collaboratively with them to form longer-term partnerships to develop and deliver Web services.

A very successful and relevant model to consider is that used by SCRAN – the Scottish Cultural Resource Access Network [11]. SCRAN is a searchable resource base of history and culture with photos, objects, artwork, movies and audio. SCRAN has negotiated licensing arrangements through central bodies, such as JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee of the Higher and Further Education Funding Councils) and Local Education Authorities and offers its full service to schools, further and higher education establishments for a license fee, ranging from 60 to 2000 per annum, depending on the type and size of institution. The five-year contract they have negotiated with JISC pays for access from every further and higher education authority. Two thousand schools also have access.

However, the SCRAN model is not just about sustainability, it also covers rights management, IPR issues and how contributor/providers are dealt with. SCRAN’s licensing model ensures that the new digitised object remains the Intellectual Property of the owner of the original, while securing for SCRAN a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive licence for its educational use.

SCRAN’s approach to rights management includes sophisticated authentication and authorisation, as well as a dynamic watermarking and fingerprinting system, which invisibly encodes into every copy image downloaded, a unique audit trail including the copyright status of the object, who downloaded it, when and on which machine. So downloads of high quality content can be restricted to users in licensed institutions, such as public libraries, and they have the means to police licensed users to discourage unauthorised use of SCRAN content.

What does this mean to organisations planning to sell their digital collections?

To market and sell to potential users effectively in this sector a collaborative approach is recommended. Approaches to schools, further and higher education establishments are best made centrally, through Local Education Authorities and the Regional Broadband Consortia, for example.

Another issue is ensuring that potential users in the education sector are aware of the resources that are available and understand how they might use them to meet their own requirements - in a classroom situation - for example. Projects may consider it worth while to address these issues. This may take the form of simple awareness training, but in some cases could extend to providing training resources, such as manuals or guidelines on how to use the service most effectively.

Main types of income generation

Essentially there are two main types of income generation for digitised assets on the Internet:

  • Income directly derived from the digitised material
  • Other income associated with the publication of digitised material

Income directly derived from the digitised material

This includes online sales, royalty payments, license fees and subscriptions from the sale or provision of access to the digitised assets.

Sale of content online

This is where the rights to use content is sold online.

Users should be given the opportunity to search, browse and download content. It is recommended that wherever possible, processes connected with the display, download and billing for content should be automated, to minimise impact upon the institutions concerned.

It is important that consideration is given to the management and control of licensing and rights and that appropriate steps are taken to prevent abuse of copyright. This could include a rights management database, encryption, file locking and watermarking.

There are many providers in the market of digital library rights management systems and services. For more information, it is suggested that the mda [21] could be a good starting point as they have a register of technology providers active in the culture sector. Also providers outside of this sector should be considered as digital library and rights management tools are very mature in sectors such as publishing and medicine.

Issues surrounding copyright and licensing are outside of the scope of this paper however further information on IPRs can be found in the nof-digitise FAQs section of the People’s Network Web site [22].

To give a benchmark of likely image sales, commercial photo libraries work on the basis that 5%-10% of their collections will sell every year. The British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA) [23] publishes a recommended scale of fees for image sales. The Tate Gallery has also published its scale of charges on the Web [24].

The advantage of this revenue generating approach is that if an institution has digital assets that are popular, the service can actively promote these to stimulate maximum possible revenue. However, there is a risk in developing a service focusing on generating revenue from the most popular digital assets, as it could ‘skew’ the service or divert the project from its original aim. Also, more complex processes and systems, especially billing, need to be put in place and the project may need to ensure that it makes a high volume of images available.

Subscription-based services

This is where a subscription fee is charged, allowing access to a library of images. Some sites operate on a multi-tier subscription basis, where basic information is given for free and more detailed information is accessible for a one-off fee or for a regular subscription.

The best approach depends on the type of content and site structure and projects must continue to ensure that NOF funded content is made available free to users at the point of access.

As an example of a subscription-type service, see the Fathom Web site [25], which provides lectures, interviews, online course and trails, for example, from their member institutions - which include The Natural History Museum, Cambridge University Press, the University of Chicago and the New York Public Library.

The advantage of a subscription-based service approach is that the billing process and systems can be simplified, as only a regular subscription is required. It also allows a more regular cash-flow. However, there is a limit to the revenue levels that can be generated (limited by the number of users multiplied by the subscription fee). There is also a need for more behind the scenes sophistication with the underlying technology.

Licensing content to third parties

Another option for the generation of revenue from digital content is through the sale of licenses to third parties, such as commercial digital libraries or software companies producing, for example, educational software or games.

This would typically involve the agreement of a licensing arrangement. The third party would undertake the marketing and distribution of content, and in the case of a software company, repackaging of the digital content for use in a specific commercial product. In exchange, the project would receive a percentage of the sales revenue or a fixed fee for allowing the commercial exploitation of their content.

The leading organisations in this sector for digital images are: Corbis [26],Hulton Getty [27] and Bridgeman [28]. For digital textual content see: Lexis-Nexis [29],Reuters [30], Dialog Corporation [31], Newsedge [32] or Ananova [33].

 The advantages of this approach are:

  • All of the work associated with marketing and distribution of content is handled by a third party, saving time and money
  • Commercial services have established distribution channels, which could be time-consuming and difficult for projects to develop
  • They will almost certainly generate more sales than a cultural institution could hope to achieve

The disadvantages of this approach are:

  • Commercial organisations are likely to require very specific content – in some instances institutions may find that the vast majority of their collection will not be selected for use
  • The third party may insist on rights agreements which may not be acceptable or in the best interests of the institutions concerned
  • Projects may have little or no control over how the content will be used
  • The institutions will lose a percentage of the sale of each item of content in commission to the third party

Other income associated with the publication of digitised material

This includes advertising, affiliate programs, sponsorship and merchandising.

Advertising

Looking at general sites on the Internet, advertising is a principal source of revenue for many commercial Web sites. Indeed, some sites generate sufficient revenue to cover all of their running costs and make a substantial profit. This is particularly true of portal sites such as MSN [34], Yahoo [35] and Virgin.Net [36], which provide a range of services and links.

Advertising can take a number of forms. Banner adverts for example, are typically 468 x 60 pixels (16 x 2cm) 72 pixels per inch (ppi) and run across the page and appear on the menu/home pages of Web sites. Brian Kelly’s paper Advertising on the network [37], although aimed at options for higher education institutions provides a useful summary.

If you regularly e-mail users, adverts could be incorporated into these messages - offering more revenue potential. This can be quite an effective marketing tool, especially if you hold user information and can target specific user groups with specific mails/adverts. There are data protection and data security issues to consider here of course, and it necessitates user-registration (which may put some people off from using your service). Also, if you are visibly associated with an advertiser or sponsor, users may be suspicious that you may be holding data about them for purposes other than in the context of your project.

The advantage of using advertising to generate revenue is that reasonable revenue generation levels may result.

The disadvantage is that advertising can cheapen a site if done badly, particularly if not relevant or contemporary with the subject matter, so approach with caution. Also, for advertising to be effective, you have to have a defined audience profile which the advertiser wishes to address and you have to be able to quantify the 'throughput' or number of visits to your site  - there are Audit Bureau of Circulation [51] approved ways of counting the throughput - and you need to be able to tell the advertiser just exactly what the make-up of your visitor segments are.

Affiliate programs

Another important stream of revenue is through affiliate programs. This is where a site will feature a product or service and provide links to a vendor to supply it. The vendor will pay commission for any products sold. The most common examples are books and CDs - all of the major online bookshops and CD stores offer this sort of service.

The way this works is that after registering with the store, you will have a unique code and access to promotional imagery that you can use on your site. You set up a link to the affiliate site featuring your code and any time someone clicks through, the vendor registers that it has come from your site and credits your account if a purchase follows.

There are several options available, if you set up a simple link from a Web site to the home-page of the book or CD store, most vendors will pay a commission of around 5% on any subsequent purchase made. If you make a link from your Web site to a specific book/CD and this is subsequently purchased, typical commissions of up to 15% can be paid.

For examples of affiliate programs, see Amazon UK [38], WH Smith [39] or Internet Bookshop [40].

This could be an important source of revenue for sites and can be targeted more specifically. For example, if a project is featuring a specific period in history or type of collection/information, it could be very relevant to provide links from those pages to a handful of books which provide more information on the subject.

There are other affiliate programs, which will pay if people click through to (usually) a shopping portal or search engine. The revenue levels per click are much lower, for example $0.01-$0.02 per click (most originate in the US) and they can be another potential source of income. For examples, see Goto.com [41] and AskJeeves [42].

The advantages of the affiliate-based approach are that it is relatively simple to set up and can generate a steady stream of income. From a user’s perspective, they will also have access to a broader range of information on the subject matter concerned. A good way to maximise the effectiveness of a range of affiliate programmes and other income generation opportunities is to create a portal, a option which is discussed later in this paper.

The disadvantages are that it needs more work to set it up. A considerable amount of research will be necessary to establish the most appropriate products and vendors. Also by engaging affiliate programs, you may be encouraging and creating ways for people to leave your site, rather than stay. Care needs to be taken in page design and layout to prevent or minimise this and to make sure that programs are presented in a way which does not detract from your site.

Sponsorship

Sponsorship is another form of revenue, although it is more difficult to obtain and needs time and patience in developing a sustainable strategy. This would normally manifest itself as a payment to the organisation or consortium, in exchange for which, sponsoring organisations would receive a range of benefits such as having their logo and/or adverts featured on the site, a guarantee of a certain customer 'reach' as the service will be available through a given number of outlets, etc. As an example, in some circumstances it may be appropriate to charge Web site designers and/or suppliers to feature their name in the text ‘pages designed/made by xyz’ or ‘powered by abc company’ that is included on every page of the project Web site. Think of your pages as your ‘virtual real estate’, looking at every inch of screen-space as a saleable commodity.

Although this approach is one that can generate reasonable revenue levels it can be difficult to find sponsorship and its use could potentially cheapen a service if a sponsor insists on being featured heavily across a site.

Shops

There are also opportunities to offer online shopping and to sell related products through the project Web site. However, there is likely to be a significant cost associated with this as, for example, a display, billing and shipping system will be required to manage transactions. Although it is unlikely to generate significant revenue streams, this option could be useful as part of a broader revenue package. Again, a collective approach is recommend for enabling this and to put the infrastructure in place.

For examples of an online shops, see The Tate [43], The Smithsonian Institute [44] or The Victoria and Albert Museum shop [45].

The advantages of this approach are that it is relatively straightforward to establish a shop and many institutions will already have merchandising and products which could be sold, although a key issue here is fulfilling and distributing orders - areas which have proved problematic for a number of even well-established retailers . It is important, of course, that such e-commerce opportunities are sensibly related to the project and thus provide a viable business case to justify time and resources invested in their development.

Portals

In an earlier section, reference was made to portals - gateways or one-stop sites for information, links, products and services relating to a specific subject or group of individuals. One of the limiting factors for many commercial portals is that they do not have sufficient content themselves and have to strike deals with a number of content providers to provide a viable service. A portal can successfully combine many of the elements mentioned in this paper (advertising, shops, affiliate programs, sale of content and subscription services) into one focused service.

This is one area where nof-digitise applicants have an advantage, in that they are rich in content. Therefore one potential route for applicants - whether consortia, groups of consortia or stand-only partnerships - is to consider the development of a portal. To better illustrate this multi-faceted option, an example is given below for a fictional organisation ‘The Museums, Archives and Libraries (MAL's) of Sandfordshire:

Sandfordshire MAL's are engaged in a digitisation program and have generated a large quantity of digital images, text, database records and digital multimedia assets. They have created a Web presence and because of their geographic location, have developed it into a portal aimed at people living in or with an interest in the region of Sandfordshire.

Visitors to the portal enter via an attractive home page. This presents many different options:

  • Free access to nof-digitise resources, whether digital collections or learning packages, is presented through various links which could include a searchable database
  • A series of ‘channels’, offering targeted information on specific themes or areas of interest
  • Links to a virtual shopping mall, with access to partner vendors and also to Sandfordshire MAL's own shop containing merchandise and books
  • Visitor information on how to travel to Sandfordshire MAL’s building, including links and booking forms for local hotels, guest houses, other local attractions and more generic, but relevant sites; for example, The Met Office (for weather), AA/RAC (for road travel routes and traffic information), Railtrack/local train company (for train times and service information), Tourist Information sites. Local links are structured so that Sandfordshire MAL's receive a commission for each successful booking
  • Information about Sandfordshire MAL's allowing users to join the Friend's Group, become Corporate sponsors and book for events held at Sandfordshire
  • A site search facility allowing free-text searching on any subject
  • Links to other sites having information on Sandfordshire's region and subject matter
  • Pages displaying information on complementary events, places, services and people. e.g. information on and links to craft fairs, cultural events, exhibitions, concerts, etc
  • Themed pages; e.g all-inclusive itineraries that encompass the travel, accommodation, entrance tickets and souvenirs for a given subject, theme or tour. This would generate revenue for Sandfordshire
  • The Sandfordshire MAL portal carries both sponsorship and advertising. The advertising is a mixture of generic (i.e. larger organisations) and local (tied to local, complementary services). This would generate revenue for Sandfordshire
  • All pages displaying information upon a subject or aspect of Sandfordshire MAL’s collections would have links to book, CD and gift stores with targeted products of interest. e.g. on a page focussing on the Romans, there would be links to books of a general nature, but also to archaeology books, replica jewellery, clothing and CDs of example music from the period. Each of these links would be to specific products and services from third party services via their affiliate programs. This would generate revenue for Sandfordshire

This example helps illustrate how a number of methods of revenue generation can be combined into a single service. However, it is important to note that this approach almost certainly will be beyond the reach of individual projects and would only really work if a collaborative approach is taken.

There are currently few examples of these portals in the non-commercial sectors (although this is expected to change). Examples of portals in different sectors include: Portsmouth.web - a portal covering Portsmouth and all it has to offer [46], Microsoft’s flagship site [47], which has advertising, links, shops, affiliate programs and content derived from third party sources (see below) UK Plus, [48] - UK-based search engine and portal, and Cumbria - The Lake District [49], which provides tourist information and activities related to the area.

The key is to ensure that there are sufficient levels of visitors to the site and that ‘stickiness’ is encouraged – this is to ensure that visitors stay longer on the site and keep returning in the future. One effective way of encouraging this is to offer a broad range of additional information and links.

Sources of potential additional content (most of which is free) include:

Type Providers
News Evening Standard (have a good site to which links could be made): http://www.thisislondon.co.uk
ITN: http://www.itn.co.uk/
BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
Weather The Met Office (have a local weather page to which links could be made): http://www.met-office.gov.uk/
Yahoo have local weather pages to which links can be made: http://uk.weather.yahoo.com/
Multimap: http://uk2.multimap.com/
Places of interest Official site of the UK tourist board: http://www.visitbritain.com/ could be a useful starting point for identifying attractions.
Travel Railtrack: http://www.railtrack.co.uk/ for train timetables
Link to BAA site for airports (includes latest flight times): http://www.baa.co.uk/
TrafficMaster provides information showing delays, road-works and accidents on major UK roads: http://www.trafficmaster-online.com/
Euroshell offers a road route planning service: http://www.euroshell.com/UKD/EN/index.asp
London Transport for tube and bus information: http://www.londontransport.co.uk/rt_home.shtml
Entertainment Scoot provides a free utility that can be deployed on a site to allow searching against their database for local restaurants, cinemas, places of interest, etc.: http://www.scoot.co.uk/
Yell (Yellow pages on-line) provide a similar free service, but also provide cinema listings:
http://www.yell.co.uk/
Time Out: http://www.timeout.co.uk/provides useful entertainment links
NME run an online gig guide for concerts and gigs: http://www.nme.co.uk/
Miscellaneous Mapping information: Mapquest, Global Insight and streetmap.co.uk provide free on-line mapping (streetmap.co.uk goes down to street level): http://www.mapquest.com/http://www.globalinsight.com/, http://www.streetmap.co.uk/
Air quality: http://www.aeat.co.uk/netcen/airqual/forecast/ provides localised air quality information

This information is by no means exhaustive, but does give examples of types of services that could be made available.

In conclusion

When considering ways to sustain projects beyond the initial funding period, it is probably worth considering multiple income streams to generate the maximum possible revenue.

Each project should look at its own individual business needs when developing its business plan and business requirements specification, an approach that is standard practice for IT projects generally and a requirement for the New Opportunities Fund. The business plan should include revenue generation and cash-flow forecasts.

It is important that potential solutions, especially IT solutions, should not be considered until this process has been undertaken. Each solution can then be matched against the needs and it may be that one or more of the solutions outlined above are considered appropriate.

Cash-flow and revenue generation forecasts should be realistic, tested wherever possible upon the market and take into account each of the revenue streams.

Again, concerning IPR, before considering any of the income generating options, it is important that each institution understand the rights position regarding the material they are going to use. Each consortium must tackle this issue in its own way and come to its own agreement with all partners and suppliers of content. It is strongly advised that a licensing and rights management system be put in place. Some content might have been created with the permission of third party rights holders, and all of it will be created with public money. We all have a duty of care to protect this. Without an appropriate rights management system, anything put online will be effectively in the public domain and potentially used for the profit of others. Even if a project has established the right to exploit its content, entering into commercial activities may prejudice (future) relationships with content provides who may be reluctant to provide content (on favourable terms) if it is going to be exploited for profit. The New Opportunities Fund expects projects to demonstrate that they have understood this issue and will require successful applicants to indemnify the Fund against any future action over ownership or mis-use of content.

In conclusion then, although content must be provided free at the point of use, there is scope to generate income through exploiting content and services imaginatively, provided that adequate projection is afforded to the IPRs of the content and that a sound business case can be established.

References

[1] Wienand, P., Booy, A. and Fry, R. Guide to Copyright for Museums and Galleries, Routledge, 2000.
ISBN: 0415217210.

[2] Library Association Publications
http://www.la-hq.org.uk/directory/publications.html

[3] EARL Network Policy Taskgroup Issue Paper
http://www.earl.org.uk/policy/issuepapers/copyright.html
[4] Visual Arts Data Service
http://vads.ahds.ac.uk/

[5] VADS License Agreement
http://vads.ahds.ac.uk/depositing/deposit-licence.html
[6] Source: NOP Research Group, August 2000
[7] ebay
http://www.ebay.com/
[8] qxl
http://www.qxl.com/
[9] The British Museum
http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/compass/
[10] Natural History Museum
http://owen.nhm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/newbrowsing/piclib.pl
[11] SCRAN
http://www.scran.ac.uk/
[12] HPAC
http://hpac.org.uk/places.htm

[13] Victoria and Albert Museum
http://www.vam.ac.uk/

[14] Science Museum
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/
[15] Imperial War Museum
http://www.iwm.org.uk/

[16] Royal Geographical Society
http://www.rgs.org/Category.asp?Page=mainarchives

[17] Royal Photographic Society
http://www.rps.org/piclib.html

[18] British Library
http://minos.bl.uk/index.html

[19] NGfL Standards funding
http://www.dfee.gov.uk/standardsfund/ngfldevo.html
[20] Regional Broadband Consortia
http://www.dfee.gov.uk/standardsfund/ngflrbcs.html

[21] mda
http://www.mda.org.uk/

[22] People’s Network: nof-digitise Stage Two - FAQs
http://www.peoplesnetwork.gov.uk/nof/faqs.html#IPR Issues

[23] British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies
http://www.bapla.org.uk/

[24] The Tate
http://www.tate.org.uk/shop/charges.htm
[25] Fathom
http://www.fathom.com/

[26] Corbis
http://www.corbis.com/
[27] Hulton Getty
http://www.hultongetty.com/

[28] Bridgeman
http://www.bridgeman.co.uk/
[29] Lexis-Nexis
http://www.lexis-nexis.com/
[30] Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/
[31] Dialog Corporation
http://www.dialog.com/
[32] Newsedge
http://www.newsedge.com
[33] Ananova
http://www.ananova.com/
[34] MSN
http://www.msn.co.uk/
[35] Yahoo
http://www.yahoo.co.uk/
[36] Virgin.Net
http://www.virgin.net/
[37] Kelly, B. Advertising on the Network
http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/articles/vine-120/article.html
[38] Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/subst/partners/associates/associates.html/026-4188069-9380467
[39] WH Smith
http://www.whsmith.co.uk/whs/Go.ASP?Partnership=Y&shop=4317
[40] Internet Bookshop
http://www.bookshop.co.uk/par/parpge.asp?siteno=1&Shop=56
[41] Goto.com
http://www.goto.com/d/ssn/overview/

[42] AskJeeves
http://www.askjeeves.com/docs/affiliates/index.asp

[43] The Tate
http://www.tate.org.uk/shop/browse.htm

[44] The Smithsonian Institute
http://www.smithsonianstore.com/

[45] The Victoria and Albert Museum shop
http://www.vandashop.co.uk/

[46] Portsmouth.web
http://www.webvision.co.uk/portsmouth.web/

[47] Microsoft’s portal
http://www.msn.co.uk/

[48] UK Plus
http://www.ukplus.com/
[49] Cumbria - The Lake District
http://www.cumbria-the-lake-district.co.uk/
[50] Becta
http://www.becta.org.uk/technology/software/curriculum/developers.html
[51] Audit Bureau of Circulation
http://www.abc.org.uk/

 

Acknowledgements

This paper was commissioned from Harvard Consultancy Services Ltd by UKOLN on behalf of the New Opportunities Fund in association with the People's Network and is one of a series of Information Papers that will be produced by the NOF Technical Advisory Service.

We would like to thank Professor Bruce Royan of SCRAN for his contributions to this paper.

Queries about the Information Papers should be addressed to:

Sally Criddle
UKOLN
The University of Bath
Bath BA2 7AY

Email: s.criddle@ukoln.ac.uk
Telephone: 01225 826250

UKOLN is funded by Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives & Libraries, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the Higher and Further Education Funding Councils, as well as by project funding from the JISC and the European Union. UKOLN also receives support from the University of Bath where it is based.

 ukoln-logo.gif (1794 bytes)  nof-logo.gif (2348 bytes)