Getting an arts organisation on TV is not easy

Posted filed underMuseums, TV.

Think your company has the X Factor? Developing a TV strategy is harder than it looks, writes Caper’s Rachel Coldicutt in The Guardian:

“Like pretty much everyone else, arts organisations tend to get very excited by the idea of being on TV. It seems pretty irresistible – the fame, the lights, the public adulation! – and since the prospect of self-broadcasting, via IPTV services like YouView, moved into view, it’s got even more exciting.

But the reality is that, for many arts organisations, developing a connected TV strategy is still an irrelevance. There are probably more immediate digital challenges that need to be solved and more effective means of achieving your organisational goals. That isn’t to say there aren’t preparatory steps to be taken now, or that there isn’t a collaborative opportunity across the sector. But connected TV will not be revolutionising the arts sector in the next twelve to eighteen months. And quite probably not within the next three years.

There’s also a good chance the landscape will change significantly before a useful IPTV partner launches a shareable, public-facing service.

Getting into the living room

If you do want to get your content into the living room, you might be better off thinking laterally. TV is not a panacea for your organisation’s digital problems, but a fragmenting medium facing plenty of its own challenges.

You could, for instance, partner with a games developer to co-create a game. Although this wouldn’t be a trivial undertaking – it might be a more interesting one, enabling you to reach a wider audience and develop a deeper level of engagement. All broadcasters start with a sense of the audience and it’s foolish to go into this space without doing the same.

But if getting into the living room is your ultimate goal, the most important thing you can do now is start to look for partners, to share expertise, skills and resources. If major media companies are having problems cracking the opportunity, it’s not one for an arts organisation to consider embarking on alone. There is also the matter of digital housekeeping to consider – but I’ll come to that later, after addressing some sobering facts.


Content is not automatically advertising. The right kind of content strategy can help you deepen audience engagement and widen your audience – but it’s not automatic. Creating longer form content that no one can find on a shared electronic program guide may just create more, and different, marketing challenges.

Good TV programming is relatively expensive and difficult to make.”

Read on at The Guardian.

Photograph above: Sion Touhig/Getty Images