Strategic management of tastemakers in cultural productions: How involvement of tastemakers can benefit cultural productions

Thomas Schiødt

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis aims to investigate how producers of cultural events can benefit from involving tastemakers (people who can influence otherʼs taste and choice of culture) in the production process. The thesis concludes that tastemakers have a position that makes them capable of elegantly linking art and commerce. The thesis is a case study of the music export drive - SPOT On Denmark (SOD), which is arranged by the Danish publicly supported music organisation; Music Export Denmark (MXD). It investigates the influence that the strategic use of involving tastemakers has had on the relatively quickly earned audience success that SOD has experienced, despite MXDʼs main focus on attracting professionals. The study is directed by the methodology of critical realism, which together Pierre Bourdieuʼs field analysis theory will make up the analytical frame. Through an analysis of the empirical data, consisting of 11 interviews with MXD employees and SOD tastemakers, and ethnographic observations from an internship, the thesis finds, that tastemakers have possess a mix of intrinsic (art for artøs sake) and extrinsic (art for businessʼs sake) motivation for working. This makes them capable of converting/commercialising art so it is more relevant and understandable for an audience. The thesis shows that if a cultural producer can make the event attractive for tastemakers and other professionals to participate in, the event earns great exposure from these, which can attract an audience without spending money on PR. Thus the thesis aims at making recommendations that other cultural producers can be inspired of.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages94