The contribution of artist management processes to success/failure in the music industry - a case study

Gaudesi, Francesco (2016) The contribution of artist management processes to success/failure in the music industry - a case study. Masters thesis, London Metropolitan University.


This research is an in-depth case study conducted, through participant observation and semi structured interviews, within Spaceship Management, a well-established boutique artist management company, active in the field of electro/pop music genre.

This study examines the management processes, related to the concept of artist success, operated by the company’s managers. The capacity to understand success, could be also crucial to improve the personal professionals skills of the author, under the reflexive approach, in his double role of both researcher and practitioner.

This study contributes to the literature offering an operative management insight into different themes such as artist/manager relationship, strategic planning, reflective practice, success and artist management processes related to artist success.

Success, through the analysis of this specific case, has been considered as the result of a two stages artist management process. These two stages could be defined as “self-management” and “total management”. The first stage has been observed to occur within the autonomous experience of the artist, during his “self-management” phase. This phase has been found to include three elements that need to happen consequently in order to contribute to the artist success: the creation of an artistic identity, the exposure of this identity to the audience and the occurrence of an initial visibility.

Then the author observed how, as soon as an artist manager at Spaceship recognizes that both the elements of creation of the identity and exposure have generated a first level of visibility, they are ready to take in serious consideration to start working with an artist, permitting the shift from “self” to “total management”.

During the total management stage, a process of value adding has been observed to take place. A Spaceship’s manager, as soon as the relationship is established and the targets have been defined with the artist, could start to implement the strategy plan agreed, engaging the best team possible in order to guarantee a constant effectiveness of the delivery of the artistic product into the market.

This study contributes to increase the stock of relevant and practical management knowledge within a specific case.

GaudesiFrancesco_MPhil_Thesis_2016.pdf - Published Version

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