A free app providing locals and tourists with a one-stop culture guide could be rolled out across the South West after exceeding expectations in its first year.
Artory is an incentivised ‘what’s on’ app for cultural events, which enables users to leave feedback and cultural organisations to understand their audiences better.
And it has captured the public imagination since being launched in Plymouth in January 2015, with more than 3,000 people having downloaded the app to their iPhone or Android device. To mark the milestone, Artory users are on 1 February being gifted 100 Art Miles® (the app’s reward points).
Now discussions are taking place with cultural bodies across the South West, with a view to the app’s offer being replicated across the region.
It would mean new communities can share in the app’s success, while existing venues and users have access to new audiences and information.
Artory was developed by i-DAT at Plymouth University, Plymouth Arts Centre and graduate spinout company Elixel, with additional funding from Destination Plymouth, Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Culture.
Professor Mike Philipps, Director of i-DAT, said:
“Recent funding cuts to the arts have made measuring value and generating audience feedback more essential than ever. Artory has created a viable tool enabling venues to do that, at the same time as giving something back to audiences and creating a way to promote the range of cultural activities on offer here. The success of its first year proves there is an appetite for what Artory can achieve, and we are now exploring ways for culture lovers in other towns and cities to benefit from what it offers.”Artory is a not-for-profit project developed collaboratively with 12 leading cultural organisations from across Plymouth, with a further six having joined since its launch, and many of the city’s major annual festivals are listed.
Its aim was to create a cohesive guide to the arts, providing an innovative boost to city venues and their collective cultural aspirations.
The app also allows users to earn Art Miles® by visiting venues and leaving feedback. These can be exchanged in participating cultural venues all over the city for drinks, discounts and VIP events.
The real-time data analytics provided by user feedback gives the venues vital information about their audiences that can inform and secure investment for future projects and events.
Executive Director at Plymouth Culture, Dom Jinks, says:
“Artory has been a game-changer in the way we discover and navigate our vibrant cultural scene. The ability to leave reviews and earn ArtMiles is a bonus for both viewers and organisations alike, providing incentives for people to discover and visit more events, and strengthening the research behind producing new shows and applying for funding. Artory’s impact on Plymouth cannot be underestimated - it has become the beacon for cultural way-finding in our city.”
Plymouth Arts Centre’s Head of Communications and Development, Kate Foster said:
“As an organisation, Artory has been an incredibly useful tool for us to raise awareness of the events we’ve got going on. We’ve also been able to use the feedback it provides to substantiate bids for funding and to inform our marketing activity.”The app can be downloaded from www.artory.co.uk, and via the App Store or Google Play.