Customer perspective on moving images : The design and adoption of public audiovisual heritage service in The Netherlands



1 - Introduction ; 2 - Research Methodology ; 3 Audiovisual Heritage Domain ; 4 - Theories of User Adoption ; 5 - Empirical Exploration of Consumer Needs ;
6 - The Prototype Design ; 7 - A Model of Audiovisual Heritage Adoption ; 8 - Anticipated Adoption and Willingness to Pay ; 9 - Discussion and Conclusions ; References ; Samenvatting (Dutch Summary)


The focus of this dissertation is the development of a service to provide online access to audiovisual archives with the consumer perspective in mind. Chapter 1 describes the context of the research and presents the main research question: What constitutes a viable digital service that provides access to audiovisual heritage archives for the general public? 

The process of developing a service and the research of consumer behaviour is described in chapter 2. The Dutch situation is analysed and a literature study after acceptation models is conveyed. A prototype is developed for a digital public service of an AV-archive, together with a model to explain user behaviour. This model is tested with the design practice of today.

The Dutch audiovisual domain is sketched and analysed in chapter 3. The author concludes from this analysis that most initiatives to provide online access to an AV-archive are technology driven instead of consumer driven innovations; that the current technology seems sufficient to implement a digital AV-heritage service; and that there is a need for an adequate business model. 

The study of existing technology acceptance theories (chapter 4) finds three relevant trends in the research of communication and information systems:

  • 1. The trend to look both at rational motives as well as at autogenetic behaviour (The constructs of habit and prior experience are endorsed in current theoretical perspectives on media use.)
  • 2. Theories about media use and technology use increasingly take all kinds of motives into account.  While models in information systems usually look at extrinsic motives (the usefulness of a technology), models in communication often look at intrinsic motives (the experienced joy of using a technology).
  • 3. There is an increasing body of literature supporting the profound role of personal factors in the use of information systems.


Chapter 5 describes the exploratory study that was conducted to investigate the aforementioned user needs. The results of the comparison study between YouTube and Uitzending gemist shows that online services can differ in appealing to certain needs. Furthermore, the studied technology acceptance theories are combined into one model that is used to evaluate the prototype that is built. The construction of this model and the use of the above theories are further described in chapter 7. This model takes into account three extrinsic motives, four intrinsic motives and two personal factors, as well as some demographic characteristics. The list of the final survey items is presented in Table 8.2 and 8.3 (gebruikersonderzoek).

Based on the exploration of consumer needs a prototype is developed and discussed in chapter 6. The design rationales for the consumer and the business side are laid down (section 6.2) and translated into a technical architecture and a user design (i.e., interface). The prototype allows consumers to preview content, view metadata, and be provided with recommended material. Furthermore, users can comment on content items. The purpose of this prototype artifact is mainly to get feedback from potential users.

One of the main findings of the user study conducted (chapter 8) was to find out what the anticipated adoption and willingness-to-pay potential are of a digital audiovisual heritage service instantiation in the Netherlands is and that the intention to use such a service is primarily affected by the expected pleasant feelings enhanced by the service. Respondents that have high intrinsic motivation in terms of enjoyment will use the service in the future. This enjoyment is mainly triggered by the ‘ease of use’ of the service. The amount of effort yielded by the user is a pivotal factor in its enjoyment. In general the results present a reluctance in the willingness to pay for audiovisual heritage archive services.

To conclude the dissertation, chapter 9 presents the most eye-catching conclusions on user acceptance and service development. The research reported in this dissertation is conducted in the project 'Archieven in beweging'.


The dissertation presents relevant findings for those responsible for the development of online access to AV-archives for the general public. For example, the author concludes that a digital audiovisual heritage service has to be effortless in order to be used by potential users (chapter 8). Other example: to increase the website’s credibility, the website owner must be clearly identified (chapter 6).

Hanneke Smulders