Investigation into the dynamics of the B2B service of Audience Development agencies

  • Emma Reid

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Audience Development within the arts sector refers to the acquiring of marketing intelligence about attendees at cultural events. Audience Development agencies have emerged from arts marketing and use a combination of social and analytical tools to understand existing audiences and to widen access to new audiences. This thesis adopts a Market Studies approach to examine practices and exchanges of Audience Development agencies. The main purpose of this research is to understand the impact of marketisation on the arts sector through understanding market-shaping practices, use of devices, mediation, and affordances.Empirical evidence was gathered through longitudinal multiple case studies of three Audience Development agencies operating in the arts and cultural sectors. Findings indicate that in stabilising the arts sector, externalities are important and must be acknowledged by arts organisations.The study reveals that within the business-to-business service of Audience Development, the object of exchange requires multiple levels of qualification, which are dependent upon those actors involved in the exchange. Marketisation has a particular form, with a greater number of exchanges, but few of these being directly monetary transactions. Due to the minimal monetary exchange within market transactions, there must be other elements that demonstrate value to both actors involved in the transactions. In stabilising the market, Audience Development acts as a service, which receives payment (via membership fees and grant payments) in return for anticipated Audience Development services.
Date of Award6 Oct 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorEleanor Shaw (Supervisor) & Juliette Wilson (Supervisor)

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