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Report of the debate Meeting with Kurt Salmon and Neuflize OBC

Instantaneousness, hyper-choice and innovation: how to guide the “e-lost” through the cultural abundance?


While facing a cultural appeal growing bigger and bigger, the consumers are feeling more and more “e-lost” according to a consumers’ survey lead by Kurt Salmon for the Forum d’Avignon[1]. Services, councils and interactivity: will it be enough in order to meet their expectations? The debate Forum d’Avignon – Kurt Salmon – Neuflize OBC Bank of the 19th of June 2014 opened some perspectives.


The “e-losts” are yearning for a caring in their cultural experiences. “80% of the people asked by Kurt Salmon are considering the immediate access to a profusion of cultural offers as being stressful underlines Philippe Pestanes, associate Strategy, Telecom, Media and Entertainments of Kurt Salmon. This difficulty of identify any cultural products that could suit them is lived by those “e-lost” as a brake. Used to the practices of the e-commerce, 83% of the people asked are waiting to have practical advantages at their disposal when they are consuming culture, and this is true for every country.”
If the international survey lead by Kurt Salmon in April 2014 identifies the principal brakes to the use of the great cultural practices (movies, music, live performances, museums…) its authors are proposing some issues to eradicate them: for example, to publish a “best-sellers’ list” as a personalized recommendation, to ease the subscription “all inclusive” and “without any bad surprise”, to editorialize the “on-demand”. “If the social cultural is all the stronger than it is shared, emphasizes Philippe Pestanes, the asked people are refusing that we “feel” for them: 65% who wants to access to online contents to extend their experience when they want with proposed contents, but not pushed further.”

“If too much choice is killing the choice, its absence is killing the curiosity”. The brakes mentioned in the Kurt Salmon’s study are collective feelings that the consumers are often claiming to exempt themselves from a kind of bad conscience, in particular by invoking the tickets’ price that they are not buying, as Alain Sussfeld, General Director of the UGC’s Group comments. As soon as he pays, the consumer is trying to securing his purchase and its satisfaction.” The challenge of every distributor is to extricate him from this commonness and to extend his curiosity. Created 20 years ago before the digital Big Bang, the loyalty card permits to dare, without costing too much. “We have to optimize the consumer’s route, as Alain Sussfeld says, as the SNCF did, with success: from the reservation to the entry. A total tickets dematerialisation comes up against the time of necessary control, without hurting the one that own the rights. The biggest risk comes from the grapevine on the social networks. We are selling some ephemerid; the social networks are killing it. It is a major stake in order to enable every movie to exist. And I claim our responsibility in the preconisation, in the expression and the positioning of the offer. Diffuser, it is put forward our choices.”

“The digital is now coming into the cultural experience,” confirms Roei Amit, director in charge of the Digital in the Réunion of the National Museums Grand Palais (RMN). Our establishments have become mediators in the whole cultural route in its wider meaning: e-services, e-contents, e-visits.” Thus, on 1,2 billions of visitors welcomed in 2013, the RMN Grand Palais have noticed that 50% of them have been on the website before their visit and 40% bought their tickets online. 80% of the visitors own a Smartphone, the half use it during their visit (for some explanations, the research of applications, or sharing their experience…). “If the physical visit remains at the heart of the museum relationship – an experience which is evolving – it remains a social construction that we have to work on it, by addressing the content before and after the visit, and by easing the share of emotions and information” insists Roeil Amit. It should not prevent us from reducing the appeal to the digital at a certain point, in order to allow the visitor to enjoy his connection with the artwork.”

“If culture is being consumed in another way, does it have the same taste?” Benjamin Benita is asking himself, as being the national coordinator of the MuseumWeek, in charge of the digital presence of the Palace of the discovery and the Sciences’ Cité. If we still encouraging the production of an editorial and scientific content to “push” our exhibitions, the invitation to share the experience of the visit is creating some value and develops customer loyalty to our offer. This change is passing through the decentralization of the community management and the empowerment of our collaborators, precious ambassadors in order to reinforce the visibility of our contents. Creating the participation, thanks to the digital, might help to fix the memories, but especially to strengthen the social space that the museum is.” The public is invited to react, to share its experience. Take the social networks as an active mediator is going further that the museum’s walls and permits to make another public coming. Some recent initiatives, as a screen installed at the end of the exhibition “Auguste” at the Grand Palais, with all the tweets that the visitors wrote during the exhibition or the existence of a “hashtag” to encourage the “selfies”. Inviting the “instagramers” to spread their own regard on an exhibition is producing a content, which is relieved by the Cité of Sciences through its own Twitter account. “Those dematerialized experiences – and the one during the MuseumWeek where more than 600 institutions gathered from the 24th to the 30th of March 2014 to give life to their offer on Twitter – are creating value for our offer”

“Some editorial websites as are meeting a special need, adds Nicolas de Leudeville, its co-creator and general director, first personal, like finding the good recommendations in the plethora of the museum events. Also collective – facing this hyper-choice as Kurt Salmon’s studydemonstrates: easing the choice and the access thanks to all information needed”. Exponaute’s objective is to situate before and after the visit. By structuring the content, the website is bringing an added valued, facing the algorithms which does not leave such place for the hazard. If you have liked something, the research engines will propose you always the same thing. “Our editorial recommendation – associating the opinion of the public and the professionals- leave some place to the curiosity, the unexpected, to light the web-user as Nicolas de Leudeville says. We are not trying to replace the visit – personally, I do not believe in the exhibitions’ virtualization.On the contrary, our offer is built on easing and enriching the physical and social experience of Art.”

Indexable, divisible, shareable flow: developing the singularity is the main aim of a radio group, facing the digital for Joël Ronez, Director of the innovation and the digital development for Radio France.  Last analogic media, the radio has not changed in its distribution shape for 40 years, even if it should meet new expectations of consummation: knowing what we are listening to, having the possibility to replay it, associating other contents, see some talks, in order to add the visuals.” As a response, the Radio France’s investments are bout the podcast (“delineairization”), on the adding of images (recording studio), interactivity (conversation with our auditors) and intermediation (management of the reporters, producers, and musicians’ authors’ rights). “Here, innovation is an affaire of contractual engineering, with the beneficiaries to reinvent our job as Joël Ronez says, around three axes: enrichment of the flux (images and enriched contents), production of an original offer and adapt to our auditors’ demands and finally, becoming again a force of editorial prescription, discoverer of new talents, as RF8 for example. It is all about reinforcing the trust of the auditor.”

A word which I do not like to put aside culture is consummation, insists Nicolas Seydoux, president of the Forum d’Avignon. I refuse to define the word Culture, because it remains a personal appropriation. The word culture is associated to the duration, which goes against the current of the digital instantaneity. The digital is a cultural tool: it does not revolutionize it. It is essential to put down the feet on the ground and to consider the digital only as a way, but not as an end. Malraux was right, when he said that culture is what remains when we forget everything. Culture stays. Digital mutes.“

And what the e-losts” be reassured with Benjamin Constant who feels" an unspeakable charm to walk blind in front of what is afraid "


Download the summary of the study

Download the presentation by Kurt Salmon (Every fact or figure picked from this presentation shall state the following notice : "A Kurt Salmon survey for the Forum d'Avignon 2014")


[1] International Consumer study lead by Kurt Salmon in April 2014, upon 4000 persons in France, Great Britain, United States and urban China asking about numeric trends and uses in cultural practices