Setting Our Apps Free

Audio guides from Jewish Museum exhibitions now streaming.

We are living in a post-app digital world. In 2010, Apple trademarked the phrase “there’s an app for that,” which was used in a commercial for the iPhone. Since then, it really does seem like there is an app for almost everything, including every art museum. Around that same time, the Jewish Museum began developing mobile apps for exhibition audio guides, free to download on iOS and Android devices, produced in association with Acoustiguide and made possible by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

What happened to all of those apps? According to TechCrunch, last year:

  • For every iPhone sold, 119 apps have been downloaded
  • Fewer than 25% of those apps are used in any given month
  • The average app loses 77% of its users within 3 days of download
  • Our top 5 favorite apps take up 80% of our session time

Think about it — what are your most used apps during a museum visit? Is it the official museum app, or a social media platform such as Twitter or Instagram? Or do you simply prefer to browse the museum device-free? What was once a trend quickly turned into a barrier to entry: beyond basic awareness that a museum had an app, connection to adequate WiFi signal, local storage capacity, and the struggle of reseting one’s iTunes password became unexpected obstructions to visitor experience and accessibility.

In an effort to be truly accessible and responsive to the evolving digital needs of our visitors, as well as those who may never have the opportunity to visit us in person, the Jewish Museum recently completed a major legacy content migration of all of its past audio guide tours from app to streaming online through the audio distribution platform SoundCloud, complete with transcripts. Featuring in-depth commentary for some of our most acclaimed exhibitions, from Isaac Mizrahi to Marc Chagall, our audio guides are now available for any user to explore on a desktop or mobile, anywhere, anytime.

Have 5 hours to spare? Why not binge-listen through 5 years of exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, unleashed on SoundCloud and our website, app-free.

Audio guide for Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History, on view March 18 — August 7, 2016

Audio guide for The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film, on view September 25, 2015 — February 7, 2016

Audio guide for Helena Rubinstein: Beauty Is Power, on view October 31, 2014 — March 22, 2015

Audio guide for Chagall: Love, War, and Exile, on view September 15, 2013 — February 2, 2014

Audio guide for Mel Bochner: Strong Language, on view May 2 — September 21, 2014

Audio guide for Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix: A Retrospective, November 8, 2013 — March 23, 2014

Audio guide for The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936–1951, on view November 4, 2011 — March 25, 2012

Audio guide for Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, on view June 11, 1993 — February 12, 2017

Kids audio guide for Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, on view June 11, 1993 — February 12, 2017

Audio guides made possible by Bloomberg Philanthropies.