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Television Movies The Media

Streaming Services Will Pay Writers More Under New Writers Guild Pact (deadline.com) 64

An anonymous reader quotes Deadline: Netflix, Amazon and Hulu will be paying a lot more in writers' residuals under the new WGA film and TV contract. New details, outlined by WGA West, reveal that high-budget shows they run will generate anywhere between $3,448-$34,637 more residuals per episode over the life of the three-year contract than they did under the old contract, depending on the platform and the length of the show. Essentially, it's the same deal the Director's Guild of America got in their negotiations last December. The WGA contract, which has been unanimously approved by the WGA West board and the WGA East council, now goes to the guilds' members for final ratification. Voting begins Friday and concludes May 24.
For every half-hour of a high-budget show, Netflix will be paying $19,058 more in residuals than it did under the old contract.
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Streaming Services Will Pay Writers More Under New Writers Guild Pact

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  • This is how you kill streaming.. And they as a group stood to gain the most if streaming took off...

    • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Sunday May 14, 2017 @07:12PM (#54415779)

      Over the past 35+ years, the sale and rental of movies on video cassette has generated a couple hundred billion dollars in revenue, created more demand for movies and created an entirely new genre (movies that are released direct to video) all of which created a large number of jobs for actors/writers/directors/etc.

      None of that would have happened if the movie industry had been successful in their fight to outlaw the VCR..

      People are stupid and short-sighted.

  • Unions (Score:4, Informative)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Sunday May 14, 2017 @07:02PM (#54415745) Journal
    I would like to think the writers of our movies are well compensated, as I find writing to be at least as important to the movie's quality as acting.

    I do, however, find it funny (funny strange, not funny ha-ha) that the oddest bunch of employment fields remain union shops.

    Baseball players, automakers, the entertainment industry; but not coal miners or their daughters.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Baseball players, automakers, the entertainment industry; but not coal miners or their daughters.

      All ripe for automation. Including the daughters.

    • by pthisis ( 27352 )

      I do, however, find it funny (funny strange, not funny ha-ha) that the oddest bunch of employment fields remain union shops.

      Baseball players, automakers, the entertainment industry; but not coal miners or their daughters.

      Coal miners have unions, and have since the mid-1800s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      • Yes, and they earned them. The Ludlow massacre [wikipedia.org] was barely a hundred years ago, which is quite eye-opening for Americans who perceive governments attacking their own citizens to be something done in other places.

        Baseball players and the entertainment industry owe their respectively successful unions to the sacrifices made by much lower profile employees, many of whom now suffer job loss and income shrinkage. US automotive worker job losses are well documented, as US automakers lost their world dominance in

  • Right... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Sunday May 14, 2017 @07:54PM (#54415927) Homepage Journal

    "For every half-hour of a high-budget show, Netflix will be paying $19,058 more in residuals than it did under the old contract."

    That is like an average person having to pay a few dollars more for lunch.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      not even that. more like they had to pay an extra penny for the napkin they used.

      netflix is a near-10 BILLION dollar (gross annual revenues) company... considering THEIR TOTAL CUMULATIVE original output, this increase had it applied to all of it, would "only" about $70 million *total* (not per annum) over the history of their company.

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        So, if I say I make 50,000k (basically average) one penny is 1 5 millionth of my income.

        netflix makes 10 billion. divide by 5 million I get $2,000 being a penny to them.

        This is actually closer to 2 million for a network show (5 seasons * 20 episodes/season * 20k/episode).

        It's more like paying $10 for those napkins (or I'm orders of magnitude off).

  • They don't produce anything of real important value. Entertainment has low barriers of entry and there are so many options (books, audio books, music, video games, youtube, etc.) that if movies stopped being produced no one would care.

    If netflix has to raise their price a lot to cover this we will simply cancel netflix in a heartbeat.
  • On the surface, this could be good: writers not having to worry about eating and paying rent can concentrate on better writing. But then again, maybe not. For example, I don't think it will help Netflix as they don't seem to hire very good writers very often, and/or don't buy very good shows. Netflix is rapidly falling into the same level of quality as channels that show nothing but shitty 'reality tv'. Worst shows out there, with some rare exceptions, which I'll admit are very good (Stranger Things, Narcos
    • On the surface, this could be good: writers not having to worry about eating and paying rent can concentrate on better writing.

      That's not how it works.

      The current bad writers who are willing to work for the current pay have to first be fired. Then new better writers who were unwilling to work for the old amount of pay, but are willing to work for the new higher pay have to be hired to replace all the bad writers you just fired.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They're (Netflix, in my case) paying us writers less than the Animation Guild minimums, and we don't get healthcare or pension payments. Also, just so you know, unless you work on a prime time show (WGA, not TAG), you don't get residuals.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      Healthcare? But Obamacare was supposed to enable you to buy your own on the open market like you could in civilized non-blue states before.

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