Including... Fleets, 2020 email marketing benchmarks and Birmingham Museum partnering with online game, Occupy White Walls.
Hello and welcome to edition 116 of the Digital Snapshot, a round-up of the latest news, guides, inspiring work and good reads as relevant to the arts, culture, museums & heritage sector.
Before we kick off this week, we're excited to be able to share with you some brand-new sector-first insights about digital audiences across the UK, and how their attitudes to and expectations from online cultural offerings are changing with the times...
COVID-19 Cultural Participation Monitor
The first wave of findings is in from our nationwide survey of changing views about participating in creative and cultural activities throughout the pandemic. Explore The Monitor.
Digital Audience Survey
Over the past months, our first of its kind survey has been helping organisations get to know their digital audiences. The core survey aligns with your Audience Finder survey and is free to take part in.
Introduction to Digital Audience Insights
Use the latest findings from our Digital Audience Survey and Cultural Participation Monitor to help inform your digital programming, marketing and audience development strategies.
On with business then! This will be our last Digital Snapshot before Christmas and we'd like to wish you all a restful break. Keep safe and warm.
- Twitter has launched their version of Stories (a feature that's now on pretty much every other social network/app out there). Called Fleets (yes really) they're essentially tweets that disappear after 24 hours.
- More interestingly, Twitter also announced that it's testing an audio feature similar to Clubhouse. Apparently, "The new product will allow Twitter users to gather in dedicated spaces for live conversations with another person or with groups of people" - to be clear that's audio conversations not text.
- Instagram is rolling out the Guides feature to all users. Lots of different ways to use it.
Useful & bookmarkable
- In case you missed it, here's Campaign Monitor's 2020 email marketing benchmarks report.
- And of course the inevitable year in review posts - first from Tiktok and also Tumblr (which while doesn't get lots of mainstream profile anymore is still very much alive and kicking and often the breeding ground for memes that then leak into the wider internet).
- Although it has a bit of a Silicon Valley vibe about it, this podcast episode from a16z about how to moderate panels/talks/workshops is well worth a listen.
- For those looking for an alternative to Google Analytics (often for ethical and/or privacy reasons), Fathom looks interesting.
- Ash has written about how lots of arts and culture organisations have seen their best online revenue from education and learning based events/programmes. This absolutely chimes with what we've been seeing at The Audience Agency.
- Dua Lipa's recent livestream cost $1.5m and drew 5 million in viewers and while clearly this is in a different league to arts and culture, it's noteworthy that the livestream resulted in an uptick of tickets sales for her upcoming in-person tour of 70%.
- If you're considering launching a podcast - be aware of the staggering amount of competition out there.
Distracting & entertaining
- HOME in Manchester has been experimenting with different types of online content and their latest commission is a retelling of the Eyam Plague in comic form, as they describe it, "Short-form, visual storytelling, direct to your inbox every week. At a time when there is a wealth of audio and visual content out there, we are slowing down the pace by reviving the disappearing format of the weekly comic strip."
- Birmingham Museum becomes the first museum to officially partner with online game Occupy White Walls (if you're new to OWW here's a good primer).
- English National Ballet officially launched their 'Ballet on Demand' platform.
- One of the aspects of in-person events and festivals that many people have missed is the serendipity aspect of stumbling across something surprising or having unexpected conversations with new people. High Fidelity aims to address the latter issue, providing a "virtual space that for people that mimics real life". Looks intriguing but I've yet to see it in action.
- And finally, in this section, undoubtedly a big budget but also an example of looking at something in a new way - Balenciaga created an entire online game for their new collection - and it's really good.
- For those of you who haven't heard of Discord this is a great read,"...five years in, it's clear that Discord has done something remarkable. It's built a space that feels unlike any other on the internet. It's not quite group chat, it's not quite forums, it's not quite conference calling. It's all of those things and none of them."
- Understandably some organisations across the arts, culture, museums and heritage sector have issues with the ethics of certain social media platforms, in that context, this fascinating piece looks at whether it's possible to create online networks with civic purpose, "Right now, many of our online interactions take place in the digital equivalent of a shopping mall. Controlled by corporations and designed to maximize advertising revenue, they sometimes host civic discussions, but they aren’t real civic spaces".
And with that we leave you for 2020, see you next year. Please remember that we're here to support you with your digital work so please do get in touch. You can find all past editions of the Digital Snapshot here.
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The Digital Snapshot newsletter shares the latest, most important news from the social media and digital world - as relevant to the arts, culture and heritage sectors.