“As picketing continues outside studio gates, everyone from talent agents to George Clooney has been mentioned or tried their hand at mediating between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and executives of the TV networks and film production companies. But here’s a name that hasn’t crossed too many minds: Steve Jobs, Apple’s bearded, music-loving chief executive officer,” Ron Grover reports for BusinessWeek.
“Consider this scenario: On Jan. 15, as the writers’ walkout drags into its eighth week, Jobs will take the stage for a keynote at his annual Macworld conference. He’s expected to announce that at least two—and possibly as many as five—studios have signed up to offer their movies for download to Apple’s video iPod and Apple TV products. That will no doubt generate big headlines—everything Jobs announces at Macworld does—and could make the notion of downloading movies from the Web a hot topic after years of false starts,” Grover reports.
“In doing so, Jobs could also put a Hollywood-style klieg light on the major issue separating the writers and movie moguls: how to cut in the unions for a share of the revenue from a new market that the studios have insisted isn’t yet big enough to share,” Grover reports. “‘It could validate everything that we’ve been saying,’ says WGA Assistant Executive Director Charles Slocum. ‘If he also announces that it will be in high-definition and you can order from the TV, it will mean the creation of a whole new market.'”
“During the short-lived negotiations this December before the writers hit the picket lines, the studios offered the same 1.2% for TV shows that are streamed on the Net, though not until after they have already been online for six weeks at a fixed rate of $250,” Grover reports. “The big thing that has kept the two sides from coming together is that studio executives insist there’s no market as yet for new media and they don’t want to get caught up in making expansive deals with the unions until there is one. Indeed, in their first go-round, the studios suggested they conduct a three-year study to determine the size of the market.”
Full article here.
The studios’ are full of it. Who cares what the size of the market is today? The percentage is all that matters. If you make a buck or a billion bucks, how much is the writers’ work worth? Figure out the percentage. The bigger the market grows, they more you all make. This has nothing to do with how big the market is, what size it will be sometime in the future, three-year ruses, and blah, blah, blah. It’s all about the percentage.