Economic research on the demand for cultural products focuses upon the
composition of the audience, emphasizing its homogeneity and the determinants of consumer choice, highlighting the influence of income, price and time. The paper argues that such analyses are limited in scope, since recent transformations in the economy and in consumer expectations should lead to examine the growing complexity and diversification of cultural consumption. The cognitive process of cultural consumer is therefore analysed, and its economic implications are used in order to identify a path of effective strategies on the part of cultural producers, and to suggest a design of policies aimed at the satisfaction of consumer expectations and needs. Such a market is characterised by a high degree of monopoly, while competition is occurring for accessing public funds. Policies should incentive entrepreneurial responsibility toward consumers, in order to expand the market for culture.