Exploring new business models for monetising digitisation beyond image licensing to promote adoption of OpenGLAM

Foteini Valeonti, Melissa Terras, Andrew Hudson-Smith, Chrysanthi Zarkali

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Ever since the Rijksmuseum pioneered the OpenGLAM movement in 2011, releasing to the public domain images of artworks in itscollection [1], several other museums have followed its lead, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art [2] and the Finnish National Gallery [3]. Although studies have demonstrated that OpenGLAM provides numerous benefits to museums, ranging from the dissemination of their collections to increased sponsorship opportunities [4; 5], the movement’s adoption remains limited. Oneof the main barriers for joining OpenGLAM is the “fear of losing image licensing revenue” [4], as participant museums have yet to invent new business models to recover lost image fees [6]. Current efforts to address this challenge include Rijksmuseum’s Rijksstudio, a Print-on-Demand service for creating and purchasing products featuring the museum’s artworks [7]. However, Rijksstudio is very similar to existing Print-on-Demand solutions for museums, which have barely evolved over the last decade and, subsequently, it shares their limitations(e.g. offering wall art products only). Α radically different approach that integrates Print-on-Demand automation with emerging technologies (i.e. image recognition and progressive web applications) to generate revenue from digitisation is the Infinite Museum Store (IMS). In [8] we presented the technical aspects and innovation features of IMS, as well as the results of a pilot study held at the State Museum of Contemporary Art (SMCA) in Thessaloniki, Greece, which demonstrated its significant potential for generating revenue from digitised collections. This paper examines IMS from a business model perspective. It focuses on aspects such as viability, maintenance and long-term sustainability,and investigates ways technical innovation can be applied and utilised as abusiness model that generates revenue from digitisation, helping promote wider adoption of OpenGLAM.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEVA Berlin 2018
ISBN (Print)9783886098170
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2018
EventEVA Berlin 2018 Conference - Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), Berlin, Germany
Duration: 7 Nov 20189 Nov 2018


ConferenceEVA Berlin 2018 Conference
Internet address


  • digitisation
  • openglam
  • cultural heritage
  • museums
  • art


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