[LINK] Why Pro-Amateurs are the Future

Robin Whittle rw at firstpr.com.au
Thu Feb 9 11:47:45 AEDT 2012

Hi Kim,

Thanks for mentioning this article:

> http://www.gamesbrief.com/2012/01/why-pro-amateurs-are-the-future/

This is a repost of a piece by Tadhg Kelly:


He is discussing the creation of music, writing, computer games and I
guess some kinds of software, including perhaps "apps" for mobile devices.

Some quotes are below.

  - Robin

> Creative industries tend to be like clubs. You can get into the
> club in many ways, but all of them are equally difficult. You've
> put the time in, done the training, had the lucky breaks,
> struggled and finally made it.

> Once you are actually in the club then life is easier. You have
> a name, you are a part of a network and you work with a lot of
> the same people year in year out. Members rarely fall out of the
> club entirely.

> However, part of being 'in' is the sense that the club can't get
> too big, and for many the internet is actually pushing to make
> the club smaller. Book publishers, for example, no longer offer
> much in the way of advances. Long-tail services like Netflix and
> Spotify have such huge libraries that every new artist is competing
> not just with their peers, but their antecedents also. Distribution
> may rise but prices fall.
> They feel squeezed by piracy. Though they dislike it, many who are
> 'in' quietly believe that they have to keep many more people 'out'
> in order to hold on to what remains.

> Those who are 'in' also feel squeezed by something else:
> Democratisation of tools. It’s bad enough that they have to deal with
> a loss of revenue, but a reduction of difficulty in getting into the
> club threatens to increase its size many times over. The future is a
> world awash with low-rent ebooks, GarageBand music and GameMaker-
> developed games.

> The magic of the internet is therefore this: It substitutes time
> spent getting into the club with time spent finding fans.

> For most, those days of a publisher acting as an angel investor to
> an artist while they hone their craft are over. The publisher can’t
> afford it and the pro-amateur doesn’t need it.
> Instead the new model sees the pro-amateur doing the work of
> building the market, and then perhaps later a publisher or aggregator
> cuts a deal with her to scale that operation up. The artist becomes
> part-business person and so she makes better art. And, in the end, we
> will all win.

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