Blog Post

The Contrarian On Online Entertaiment: Will The Strike Help?

Much has been written about the Hollywood writers strike, and of course its effect on digital entertainment. Most of it has been positive, that a prolonged strike could lead to a boom in online entertainment options. Couple of ways to look at it: one is that people will gravitate towards online with the dearth of fresh TV content. The second is that creators will be drawn to the Web, or that online writers will come into their own.

The first one is hard to say, and tough to predict user behavior in the short to medium run. On the second, THR has a good story on the reasons why the second won’t happen. Online content sites and the agents who sell to them are seeking to stake out a delicate strike position: they hope to capitalize, but they also want to preserve relationships that could be more critical in the long term; if agents and sites are seen as too aggressive, they could jeopardize their standing with the WGA — and future deals along with it, the story says. That means a conservative approach when signing new online deals.

The latest strike rules from the WGA make clear that the guild will consider writing for Web sites a violation of strike. Nit, there seems to be some wiggle room: WGA has reportedly drawn up a list of friendly sites, and some non-friendly ones, and the writers could possibly work for the former.

But agents said younger writers who are hungry to work have been talking to them about finding work on the sites, WGA rules be damned. Either way, stay tuned here…