Art for art's sake or selling up?

Simon Faulkner, Adam Leaver, Farida Vis, Karel Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the discrepancy between the vision of the broadcast producer as a creative in pursuit of 'art for art's sake' and current trends within the broadcasting sector, where large 'super-indies' dominate and smaller producer-owners become rich by selling up. At a theoretical level, the article explores how representations of the producer as artist frame the historic and current policy debates, so that 'liberating the creative' has become the key policy object. At an empirical level the article shows how, in response to regulatory changes, a slow-growing market and the influence of external financial backers, the sector has become dominated by acquisitive super-indies, who buy small and medium-sized firms from willing sellers who treat their firm as a real option to be cashed in the future, because selling up can make them a millionaire. Copyright © 2008 SAGE Publications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-317
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


  • Cultural entrepreneurs
  • Independent television production
  • Selling up
  • Super-indies
  • Wealth


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