Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Downloadable Revenue Streams

At last night's TAG executive board meeting (a first-Tuesday-of-the-month occurence), one board member raised the issue of royalties on the internet.

There's a lot of discussion just now about how studios/conglomerates are starting to cash in on downloads from the worldwide web, and how animators (and others) need to get their share of the new fountain of greenbacks...

Companies like Disney are already scooping bundles of cash out of the new delivery systems:

[T]he Internet was a liability waiting to spun into an asset. Movie studios, music labels, and other creators of content often saw cyberspace as a bastion of piracy that was taking up the available leisure of its potential audiences. Iger didn't see it that way. He saw that the Internet was growing as a platform for the consumption of entertainment.

Under Iger, Disney became the first major studio to team up with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) when it launched its iTunes video store. Disney has sold 20 million television-show downloads since the fall of 2005 and nearly 2 million full-length films since the fall of 2006.

Unsurprisingly, the entertainment unions and guilds want their fair share of this new cash stream. More unsurprisingly, the various mega-corporations that profit from the new delivery systems want to pay as little as possible to the for-hire wretches who create the work under various union contracts. (Companies are also tenaciously fighting the ingrates who pay them nothing. And for good reason:)

Viacom President Phillippe Dauman says that traffic to Viacom's sites has increased since the company had YouTube pull some 100,000 clips of Viacom programming from its video-sharing site.

So the new delivery platforms -- and what kind of cuts the WGA, DGA and SAG will end up with -- are going to be major topics in upcoming negotiations both this year and next. One of the ironies is, individuals who create content for the Web often end up with royalties when their work goes viral and gets popular.

Individuals who are salaried employees of one of the giant entertainment companies? Who knows? Maybe they'll get a small slice. Maybe they'll get less than a small slice.


MrFun said...

Perhaps this paradigm shift will enable the talent to get a leg up on the entertainment companies for a change. Look what happen to the recording industry when they dragged their feet.

How about the people who create the content making a few bucks instead of the do nothing executives who sit back on their fat assets and rake in the big money.

Anonymous said...

WooWho... My revenue sharing total with is up to 14 cents! A couple of weeks ago, I uploaded this single video demo to Spymac as a test, but I'm really looking forward to posting my own artwork on the GooTube. Question is when, when when will the revenue sharing really really begin?

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