V&A Images, the commercial image licensing unit of the Victoria and Albert Museum, had a difficult task: to generate profits through image licensing while also fostering the museum’s public and scholarly mission of providing access. In 2009, our study focused on the challenges of operating an image licensing business whose sustainability model depends on monetizing the same assets that are available for free. In part due to these challenges, the group expanded their scope in 2010 to include mobile app development in addition to content production, rights management and sales. Yet in 2011, with revenues not keeping pace with costs, the museum opted to disband the unit, retaining only the sales function.


Sustainability Planning Tool