Q Media: Audio Tour Experts

Delivering your goals, to your visitors, within your budget.

Archive for June, 2009

WebTour Audio Tours — By Mike Lutz

IphoneIn recent years audio tours on cell phones have become very popular and whether cell phones are chosen for ease of maintenance, or to meet unique operational challenges, they are meeting the needs of many institutions for their audio tour distribution.

Also in recent years there has been more desire by consumers on what they want their mobile devices to do. One of the fastest developing trends is to have access to the internet through mobile devices and new technology like the Apple IPhone is an example of what is possible in realizing how the cell phone has evolved beyond being just a platform for voice communication.  Also internet plans for mobile devices are becoming less expensive as more competitors enter the marketplace allowing people to utilize their mobile devices for many functions beyond communication like game-playing, music downloading and video watching among thousands of other uses.  

This latest development offers a new way to have an audio tour for visitors for less cost.  How?  Well if you are currently paying a cell phone audio tour provider to host your audio tour then in the near future you won’t have to as more people have internet-capable devices:  there won’t be the need to pay for a service to host audio tours for cell phones because your visitors will access your tour directly from your website .  I’m calling these new types of audio tours WebTour Audio Tours and you can learn more about them at our website www.qmediaproductions.com/cellphone.htm

As technology changes and improves rapidly how you hear a tour is still only half of the equation–the other of course is what you are listening to.  Q Media is an award-winning production company that is committed to producing excellent audio tour content no matter how it is heard.  We pride ourselves in being able to exceed the message needs of our clients no matter what distribution platform they require whether it is traditional audio guides, cell phones, Ipods, downloadable tours and now WebTours.  Please contact QMedia if you are considering an audio tour or planning to upgrade your current one to find out more about what we can produce, equip or program for your tour.

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Revenue Share Audio Tours

MPj04331180000[1]The first half of year 2009 has been tough. Donations, sponsorships, attendance are all down, down, down. Across the board our clients tell us they are getting hit in the pocketbook by things over which they have little or no control. “What we have to do is bring in more money without spending our cash reserves.” Exactly. Which is why if you don’t already have a revenue share audio tour with Q Media, then I highly suggest you give us a call.

Most organizations are familiar with a standard revenue share arrangement–the vendor covers most or all of the up front costs including hardware and production; the client provides the marketing and promotion, then the earned revenue is shared between the parties. What most museums are not aware of is that Q Media is different; first, we offer this option to organizations that are considered too small by our competitors. The larger audio tour providers cannot offer this valuable service to small to medium sized museums because the return is not considered large enough to cover their overhead. Second, our service is truly shared risk/shared reward. Q Media takes into account large scale disruptions, i.e. hurricanes, that grossly affect your attendance. Last, but certainly not least, Q Media’s productions enhance your visitor’s experience at your museum and add to your ability to tell your story. Our primary talent, focus and purpose is to effectively deliver your message to your visitors.

Let us help you increase your revenue. Seven years ago, Mike and I started Q Media because we were committed to serving our clients and we’re proud to say we’ve succeeded — in good times and bad. Please, give us a call and let’s see what we can do together.

Audio tours in these economic times – By Mike Lutz

An audio tour can help in these economic times.

Fantasy of FlightIn these times many institutions that have the desire to offer an audio tour to their visitors may now have budget shortfalls and face decisions on how to move forward. There are many factors in how and when to spend limited resources and an audio tour may now be considered unattainable, so Q Media wants to offer perspective on why audio tours can help in these times: We believe audio tours can be of assistance as a good way to generate revenue, cut staffing costs, and better the creative offerings of any facility.

1. Audio tours have historically offered revenue enhancement. Many facilities use audio tours to enhance revenue and traditional audio guides have been the easiest way to allow for point of purchase audio tour sales. Some other approaches like re-purposing your tour as a downloadable tour for sale from the internet can also increase revenue.

2. Q Media offers a “no-cost” revenue share option. We understand that the cost of producing and equipping a tour may be considered cost prohibitive but if your facility qualifies Q Media is ready to work in conjunction with you to offer your audio tour as an on-going revenue share.

3. Q Media offers “how to” workshops for organizations that are looking at budget shortfalls and have decided to produce an audio tour in-house. Q Media has worked with organizations who saved money by incorporating in-house personnel for key creative roles and through our workshops we can teach your staff to produce audio tours on-time and on-budget.

4. Audio Tours are a great way to standardize your message. Many times a message can be changed in its repeating. One great advantage audio tours have is that once a tour is produced that message stays consistent every time it is told. Not only are audio guides consistent but since they never “call in sick” they are always at the ready to be of service to generate revenue.

5. Audio tours also have the ability to streamline staffing. In these times many institutions may be considering how to do more with less and downturns in revenue can call for decisions to be made about operational expenditures. An audio tour can allow a facility to continue offering enhanced message delivery while also minimizing staffing needs. This doesn’t necessarily imply staff layoffs—it suggests that less tour staff is needed during higher attendance and savings can be made with fewer part-time or seasonal employees.

6. Audio tours offer a great return on investment over time. In many cases a well produced audio tour is still viable 4-5 years after it is originally installed. Many institutions choose to have audio tours for their permanent exhibits that won’t change much over time and add tours for their temporary or seasonal exhibits. In most cases once the audio tour is operational there is usually very little upkeep cost and this allows for a greater return over time: costs are minimized and profits increased as the tour requires no additional resources to remain operational.

7. Audio tours can be used for advertising and promotional sponsors. Additional revenue or sponsorship dollars can be arranged with donors who want their product or service exposed to your visitors. In the case of museum visitors there are many studies that quantify museum attendees as being from better educated and well-off segments of society. An audio tour can accommodate sponsors or advertising when overt sponsorship is not a consideration for an exhibit but sponsorship dollars are desirable.

Hopefully Q Media has shown that even in these lean economic times an audio tour is still a great value addition to any facility.  Besides increasing revenue they also can provide a wonderful one-on-one experience in delivering your message creatively to your visitors.  Much cheaper to produce and install than a typical exhibit, and able to streamline staffing,  audio tours are a great way to increase revenue and update the offering of your facility without large costs.

Please contact Stasha Boyd at stasha@qmediaproductions.com to find out how Q Media can produce and equip your audio tour.