Barring a last minute agreement, the Writer’s Guild of America will go on strike Monday morning after negotiators unanimously recommended the the drastic measure to the WGA leadership.
We’ve steered clear of in-depth coverage of the looming WGA strike, mainly because we’ve made a point to focus on content analysis and commentary –not industry politics– but the likely strike will have a profound impact on the new media landscape and, so too, on its ever-evolving content.
This strike marks an inevitable step in a paradigm shift for media production: creators finally have more leverage to demand more control and ownership of their work, and better employment terms. Hollywood’s entrenched economics are weakening. Power to the people!
As entertainment lawyer Kevin Morris writes “Simply put: If you kick artists off a playground, don’t be surprised if they make sand castles at a new sandbox.”
But what exactly does that mean for our exploding medium? More talent. More eyeballs. More money. Better programming.
We’ll leave the play-by-play analysis to those who do it best. Jackson West’s May speculation paints a pretty clear picture of the emerging landscape. We stand ready to cover what we expect will be some monumental content developments.
The supreme reign of big media as we know it is in its final throes, but big players are not irrelevant in the new media market. Hollywood studios can position themselves for the disruption of television by devoting a portion of their robust programming, scouting and creative infrastructures to the development of many niche internet-entertainment brands.
Whether or not the strike actually occurs, the outcome of this growing tension is clear: talent will gravitate towards an open medium, and they’ll demand better terms and more control. The content market will continue to diffuse.