As of this writing, the Hollywood writer’s strike might begin as early as Friday, November 2. The central issue for writers is how much they will be paid for digital rights of the content they help create. Having gotten the shaft during the last round of negotiations over DVD sales, which is currently the biggest money maker for studios, they are unwilling to make another bad deal.
The trouble is, no one really knows HOW much online content could or should be worth. The baseline costs for internet video will probably be set, helping to determine how the industry evolves. A couple of options might be paid downloads (a la iTunes store), or free streaming video with ads. But if the price paid for rights is higher than the revenue they earn, it might keep content off the internet, opening the door for other talent. As the NY Times observed, "…bored viewers may suddenly start deep explorations of puppy punting and other specialties of YouTube."
Well, we can CERTAINLY do better than that!
Content creators of the world- this is your chance. Writers, producers, directors and those who never have squeezed through the development door at a major network, and even those of you who have, this could be the moment for a major paradigm shift.
Are you ready?