The three-month-long Writers Guild of America strike will cost California $2.1 billion in lost output from Nov. 2007 to the end of 2008, according to a new study from the Milken Institute. Milken said the strike caused the state to lose 37,700 jobs and enter a recession.
The writers’ top-priority demand, revenue sharing for online video streaming and downloads, was met in part, with guild members agreeing to receive a flat streaming residual for two years and then 2 percent the year after that. So was the strike worth it? If you do the (somewhat) apples-to-apples math, not really. Streaming of online movies and TV shows will be worth some $674 million combined in 2009, and $1.16 billion in 2011 (by then, the WGA has to renegotiate its contract), according to estimates compiled by Milken. That’s up from $315 million for online movies and TV in 2007, back when the studios were saying there wasn’t any money in digital.