Arts and the market: new frontiers

Gretchen Larsen (Department of Management and Marketing, Durham University Business School, Stockton-on-Tees, UK.)
Noel Dennis (York St John University Business School, York, UK.)

Arts and the Market

ISSN: 2056-4945

Article publication date: 5 May 2015



Larsen, G. and Dennis, N. (2015), "Arts and the market: new frontiers", Arts and the Market, Vol. 5 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Arts and the market: new frontiers

Article Type: Editorial From: Arts and the Market, Volume 5, Issue 1

We are delighted to welcome you to the first issue of the newly renamed journal, Arts and the Market. Like it’s predecessor Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Arts and the Market continues to provide a home for cutting edge, contemporary, high-quality academic and practitioner research at the intersection of arts and the market. In the inaugural issue, the editorial team outlined the mission for the journal as playing a central role in “terraforming” the arts marketing habitat (Dennis et al., 2011). In the years since, Arts Marketing: An International Journal has not only created a liveable habitat, but one that is flourishing, nourishing and open to a diverse range of “inhabitants”. We have seen encouraging growth in both usage and submissions, and we have published papers on a variety of topics ranging from the development and scope of the field (e.g. Fillis, 2011; O’Reilly, 2011; Rentschler and Kirchner, 2012) through the arts marketing practices of P.T. Barnum (Waksman, 2011) and cultural copyright (Special Issue on Cultural Consumers and Copyright, 2012, Vol. 2 No. 2) to understanding the value of the arts for a range of audiences (e.g. Halliday and Astafyeva, 2014; Henderson, 2013; Rodner and Thomson, 2013; Tyrie and Ferguson, 2013). With solid and fertile ground under out feet, we are now seeking to open up our frontiers to settlers and visitors from all walks of life.

A key move is the re-launch of the journal under the new name: Arts and the Market. The immediate community of authors, reviewers and regular readers surrounding the journal understand that “arts marketing” is inclusive of topics that emerge from the intersection of the arts, the market, and marketing and consumption practices, and this is reflected in the fairly broad range of papers already published in the Journal. However, within the wider community of potential contributors and readers, it has become apparent that the term “arts marketing” is often comprehended narrowly, and perhaps even negatively, particularly when marketing is thought to be about “selling stuff to people in order to make lots of money”. Thus the former title risked alienating potential audiences for the Journal, and limiting engagement by not accurately reflecting its aims, scope and content. However, the new title better captures the inclusive aims of the Journal and should therefore encourage greater interest and engagement with Arts and the Market amongst our various audiences. The Journal embraces and welcomes the growing number of talented academics working in this multi-disciplinary and international field, and who challenge and build upon current orthodoxy in this area. A broad view of the arts is adopted, including all sectors of the creative industries such as visual arts and crafts, museums, performing arts, music, film, cinema, literature; and also of the disciplinary perspectives that can inform the field.

The broader and more inclusive title of Arts and the Market is in keeping with developments in the discipline itself. There is a shift away from reductive, overly simplistic definitions of arts marketing, to a more open understanding of the arts market. For example, in an effort to capture the dimensions of the music marketing, O’Reilly et al. (2014) offer a definition which is equally applicable to the arts market and arts marketing as a whole: “[Arts] marketing is the set of historically situated, social, commercial, cultural, technological and [artistic] production, performance, intermediation and consumption practices and discourses which create [artistic] and other value in the [arts] exchange relationship”. This approach opens up the landscape beyond the historical focus in the field of arts marketing on the tensions that exist between market- and aesthetic orientations of the various participants, to enable a more nuanced understanding of the complex and varied relationships, practices and discourses that emerge at the intersection of arts and the market.

In the first issue under the new title, Arts and the Market showcases four excellent papers. Opening the issue is Stephen Brown’s astute and insightful exploration of the historically unacknowledged marketing capabilities of modernism’s literary master workers: Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and James Joyce. The tension between art and commerce that is said to characterize Modernism is problematized, as Brown sheds light on the commercial mindedness and marketing activities of these literary greats. In elucidating the role of marketing in “tunnelling beneath” the “great divide” between Modern elite and popular culture, Brown identifies five principles of marketing that run counter to marketing orthodoxy. Despite their historical origins, these principles offer an up-to-date lesson on what marketing can learn from artists.

Ruby Dholakia, Jingyi Duan and Nikhilesh Dholakia present another, equally perceptive examination and problematization of the antagonisms between art and commerce, in the second paper of the issue. Focusing on an art agglomeration in China, the Wushipu art village, Dholakia and colleagues explain the evolution of this art market and the interplay of macro-level tensions and transitions that construct, characterize and maintain it. The transitions arise primarily as a result of rapid economic growth, and this has fuelled the tensions that have emerged. Some of these tensions we are familiar with, such as mass-produced, popular art vs high art; but others have emerged which are more specific to the particular market, such as the role of indigenous vs western art motifs. Again, the importance of questioning such axioms as the art-commerce divide, and of providing nuanced accounts of the intersection of arts and the market is highlighted.

The two remaining papers in this issue, both examine specific methodologies that can be used in researching arts and the market. Given the historically situated, social, commercial, cultural, technological and artistic nature of the arts market (see earlier definition), certain kinds of methodologies can offer deeper and more nuanced insights into the relationships, practices and discourses that comprise it. Emma H. Wood and Jonathan Moss focus on methods and approaches to understanding and evaluating emotional experiences of the arts. After a thorough and critical review of existing methods for researching experiences, a revised method is developed and tested at a live music event in the UK. To demonstrate the usefulness of the revised method, Wood and Moss present a Conceptual Model of the Emotions of Experience at Live Music Events, which focuses our attention on the interconnectedness of experience.

Last, but certainly not least, Christine Petr, Russell Belk and Alain Decrop contribute a comprehensive and erudite review of the creative research methodology of videography. The first part of the paper traces the origin and history of videography in marketing and consumer research, at the same time as expounding on the advantages of the method. The remainder of the paper offers very useful guidance to the technical and ethical aspects of videography, which will be of interest to both prospective and experienced videographers. One of the key insights is the importance of visual literacy in doing creative and innovative research, thus blurring the boundaries between art and research.

This issue contains a mix of papers that both challenge and build upon orthodoxy in understanding the intersection of arts and the markets, and which help chart new frontiers for the discipline. We are excited about the future and look forward to welcoming you back to the second issue of 2015 (5/2); a Special Issue on “The Culture and Design of Titles, Teasers and Trailers” Guest Edited by Keith Johnston and Daniel Hesford.

Gretchen Larsen and Noel Dennis


Dennis, N., Larsen, G. and Macaulay, M. (2011), “Terraforming arts marketing”, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 5-10

Fillis, I. (2011), “The evolution and development of arts marketing research”, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 11-25

Halliday, S. and Astafyeva, A. (2014), “Millennial cultural consumers: co-creating value through brand communities”, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 4 Nos 1/2, pp. 119-135

Henderson, S. (2013), “Sustainable touring: exploring value creation through social networking”, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 154-167

O’Reilly (2011), “Mapping the arts marketing literature”, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 26-38

O’Reilly, D., Larsen, G. and Kubacki, K. (2014), “Marketing live music”, in Burland, K. and Pitts, S. (Eds), Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience, Ashgate/SEMPRE, London, pp. 7-20

Rentschler, R. and Kirchner, T. (2012), “Arts management/marketing journal citation analysis: assessing external impact”, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 6-20

Rodner, V. and Thomson, E. (2013), “The art machine: dynamics of a value generating mechanism for contemporary art”, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 58-72

Tyrie, A. and Ferguson, S. (2013), “Understanding value from arts sponsorship: a social exchange theory perspective”, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 131-153

Waksman, S. (2011), “Selling the nightingale: PT Barnum, Jenny Lind and the management of the American crowd”, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 108-120

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