Last week, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and MTV Networks unveiled a new South Park Studios, complete with full, on-demand streaming episodes of shows past, present, and future. It was something that the creators had wanted to do for a while, as Stone told BoingBoing, “Basically, we just got really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time. So we gave ourselves a legal alternative.”
It’s fitting that almost immediately after the show and its controllers embrace internet distribution, one of the first episodes to air is about the new medium. In “Canada on Strike," Stone and Parker – who aren’t a member of any unions and negotiated internet rights and profit-sharing before it became an issue for the Writers Guild – poke fun at the WGA strike and the idea of making money off internet stardom. Kyle summarizes their thoughts:
While the internet is new and exciting for creative people, it hasn’t matured as a distribution mechanism to the extent that one should trade real and immediate opportunities for income for the promise of future online revenue. It will be a few years before digital distribution of media on the internet can be monetized to an extent that necessitates content producers to forego their fair value in more traditional media.
The above seems to make sense, though I’m not a member of the WGA who’s pissed because of a bum DVD deal. And while it’s true the vast majority of internet stars are making no money from the web, some are able to leverage their success into better paying gigs.
In any case, the best part about the episode was it’s depiction of various cewebrities.
And here’s a rundown…###
and my fave…Laughing Baby