Really useful summary, Lynda - thanks so much!
I agree that it is valid, and acceptable to most users, to charge for convenience, and I also agree with your summary, "It depends" - different projects will benefit from different models and probably the most lasting value will be had from the model that offers network effects - that supports not just the app project, but other platforms and initiatives from the museum too.
At the Smithsonian, which is characterized by being largely (half) publicly funded, I've just written in to our mobile strategic plan the following assertion:
"Profit should not be SI Mobile’s imperative; mobile should instead aim at network effects in support of existing revenue streams and other initiatives. Execution of successful mobile business models will require new levels and kinds of collaboration among SI interests than are currently the norm."
As Mike Edson wrote in the Institution's Web & New Media Strategy: “Ultimately, the most valuable business asset we can cultivate – and the one that is most fundamental to our core mission – is a community of engaged and committed Smithsonian enthusiasts.”
Both of these plans (the mobile one still in draft) are accessible from: http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com/ There's one negative I'd add to Model 4: Charged app - download numbers fall off a cliff once you start charging for an app. The National Gallery of London's Love Art app is a good case-in-point. See Charlotte Sexton's discussion of this in her paper from Museums & the Web last year: http://www.archimuse.com./mw2010/papers/lagoudi/lagoudi.html
Peter Samis & I addressed mobile business models in the Tate Handheld Conference this year; the videos of our presentations are online:
We are also collaborating with Allegra Burnette from MoMA and Rich Cherry from Balboa Park Online on a paper for Museums & the Web on mobile business models. We'll keep an eye on the discussion you've started here and look forward to learning from others' experiences!
Thanks again for your great post, Nancy
Great summary - and I appreciate the brevity of the bullet points! I have to nit-pick one point given your appreciation of good spelling: Millenials - do you know what it means with one 'n'? (Not what you intended, I think...)
Wonderful having you on our continent. Looking forward to more f2f and digital conversations!
- I think it's wonderful that you're developing your strategy in public view like this: really practicing the ethics you aim for. I'll add a link back from the Smithsonian's web & new media strategy wiki as I know we'll get a lot out of following your process too!