Digital | YouTube offers a huge opportunity for museums - Museums Association

Digital | YouTube offers a huge opportunity for museums

Nik Wyness on how the Tank Museum has benefited from investing in high-quality content
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Nik Wyness

In the past, the Tank Museum could offer value to its audiences only by getting them through the front door. But today, we can take the museum to the audience.

We have almost 700,000 subscribers and 160 million channel views on YouTube. Last year, we generated almost 30% of our turnover online from non-visitors. By investing in the creation of high-quality content that serves a niche audience, we have built an online brand with a global reach.

Distributing content on free online platforms has built an audience that has grown into an engaged community. Positioning ourselves as the charity that authoritatively communicates this specific history, we adopted the same monetisation strategies used by YouTubers.

As well as creating value for audiences, we are generating advertising revenue and sponsorship opportunities, growing our membership and ballooning e-commerce.

Our approach to YouTube demonstrates that it is possible to increase delivery against our charitable objectives online – and build a loyal community willing to financially support it. 

The opportunity for museums could be huge: YouTube audiences are hungry for authoritative content and museums have amazing stories.

With creativity and experimentation, you can take your stories to the world – and see a new revenue stream created.

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