Turns Out App Developers Are Just Like Artists: Broke...Turns Out App Developers Are Just Like Artists: Broke...
Please don't shoot the messenger! But the hard reality is that most musicians are making little-to-nothing off of their art, leaving a day job or poverty as the only options. Â Sadly, just a tiny sliver of musicians are getting rich or even getting by, just like before, but there's now a plausible argument that artists are doing worse than ever before, despite all the revolutionary rhetoric otherwise (more on that here).
That's a problem, but even worse, it looks like we're not alone. Â In fact, app developers seem to be living in a sort of parallel universe. Â Like digital music, apps are similarly revolutionary and game-changing, yet the builders of this revolutionary stuff rarely make any money. Â And, oftentimes lose money, just like musicians.
That was the takeaway a broad collective of British engineers and developers, who testified recently in front of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. Â The groups, falling under the umbrella of theÂ UK Computing Research Committee (UKCRC), discussed the difficult App Store math as part of a broader review of technology investment.
It's a classic trap. Â The UKCRC argued that academia oftentimes overvalues the value of their ideas and intellectual capital, while ignoring the massive costs required to successfully develop and scale a business. Â Which means that great, game-changing apps are often poor moneymakers, and buried in a crowd of farting apps.
Which sounds eerily like music, an oversaturated environment where anyone can created. Â And, where a song with the greatest airplay and label investment typically overpowers DIY creativity (though of course, not always). Â
The submission paper is here.