Who’s in Charge? The Role of the A&R Manager as Gatekeeper within the Dutch Music Industry
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The music industry deals with gatekeeping on a daily basis. Music passes through several channels or gates, in order for music to reach the audience. Therefore, this master thesis will examine in depth the functions of these so-called gatekeepers and gatekeeping networks, in order to understand where power and control lie in relation to processes of cultural flow. This thesis specifically focuses on the role of the A&R manager within the concept of gatekeeping. It examines the traditional role of the A&R manager before the rise of the internet and the current role of the A&R manager within gatekeeping through interviews with music professionals. In this way an up-to-date overview of gatekeeping within the Dutch music industry is presented. This thesis shows the evolution of gatekeeping and explains the changed role of the A&R manager since the rise of the internet and online developments such as the rise of platforms like Spotify and YouTube.