On May 1st the Writers Guild of America (WGA) decided that they've had enough and 98% of the 20,000 plus member decided to strike. The good news is they were able to force their bosses (Netflix ,Hulu, Disney, HBO) hand, the bad news is...they forced their bosses hand.
The WGA is striking, but their ire may be misdirected. So who should get the ire (or the "blame") ?
TicTok - the most valuable consumers are 18-35 yrs old and they are not watching traditional TV, they are on Tik-Tok. So advertisers are shifting dollars to social, influencers and other ways to get eyeballs. The high ad fees paid by advertisers for the Superbowl and live sporting events are the anomaly for mostly unscripted events.
YouTube - In 2022, users worldwide spent approximately 23.1 hours using the YouTube mobile app per month. That content is primary unscripted and it's mostly user generated content. No writers means no payout to traditional writers, where influencers make the lions share of the revenue.
US! - the consumer is paying 23% less for access to shows than it did a decade ago ($125 for cable vs $12 for a Netflix subscription is just one example), so there is less revenue to go around on a per customer/per show basis.
This writers strike will go on for a while because the streaming services have a ton of content in the vault and they can turn to international content (Squid Game, The Crown, RRR, etc.). I support the WGA, but this may be the end of a collective writers union as we know it and more of true independent contractors working with creators to create content on their own.
This is going to be a tough negotiation strike and I'm interested to see how it shakes out.