Journalists, Pets: Future of New Media Worth Fighting For

Our message that this strike is a fight for the future has been getting ample backing from business reporters. Here's the UK's Guardian Unlimited:

The internet is set to overtake magazines to become the world's third largest advertising medium in 2010, according to a new report. Media planning and buying agency ZenithOptimedia's global advertising report estimates that in 2010 the internet ad market will be worth almost $61bn, compared with the magazine market at around $60.5bn.
And as more ad spending gravitates online, you can be sure premium video content is going to pay off quite nicely.

Meanwhile, right here in the present, there are some inspiring independent online video success stories. The poster boy for indie online success is the black clad advice guru of Ask a Ninja. (He gave us some tips, too!) This article in TV Week profiles video content creators at various levels of success and notoriety. But the Ninja demonstrates that when you have a hit, the rewards are there. One-hundred large a month buys a lot of throwing stars.

A big part of what makes online so exciting for the companies (and thus, for all of us) is the flexibility of how content is both delivered and consumed. For example, there are conventional download services like iTunes, through which Twentieth Century Fox will begin offering movies in early 2008. And there are new venues that most people over nineteen probably can't wrap their heads around. In the virtual world Gaia, characters will soon be able to sit down and watch real movies from WB and Sony.

It's especially enjoyable that whenever NBCU's Jeff Zucker tries to downplay this exploding medium, he inadvertently states our case in wonderfully pithy quotes. A friend writes:
This is hilarious -- Jeff Zucker, in discussing NBC's plans to get paid for the Internet, pretty much says *exactly* what the writers have been saying all along. His line about not wanting to replace
analog dollars with digital pennies
is especially nice. We should hire
him to write our signs.
Sounds like the threat of the NEP to us! (At least the half we know about. Stay tuned!)



- "Sorry, Internet" has gone viral. The video by Colbert Report writer Frank Lesser showing animals going on a sympathetic "no cute on YouTube" strike has prompted many responses. My favorite: "Kali Supports the Writers."

- As Nikki reported earlier, I Want Media announced that "Writers on Strike" received the most votes in its week-long poll to name the 2007 "Media Person of the Year." "The Hollywood screenwriters attracted a whopping 56 percent of the total vote." I think it's cool that voters thought the way we've been articulating our case deserved some recognition. But this is one award I would have been happy not to be eligible for.

- WGA supporter and regular commenter on this site VDO Vault has created the writers strike mega-mix!

Worthy of inclusion on VDO's list is "The Underdog" by Spoon. It's getting a lot of airplay lately; maybe some moguls should have a listen?
You got no time for the messenger,
got no regard for the thing that you don't understand,
you got no fear of the underdog,
that's why you will not survive.
RUMOR: Whenever Nick Counter hears those lyrics, his ears burn.
STATUS: Unconfirmed.


Captain Obvious said...

I think this is the part where the AMPTP gets tied up and stuffed in the trunk of an Oldsmobile with a simple ultimatum: Either give us the money or we'll "squeeze" it out of you.

Should we be forced to commence the aforementioned squeezing the pets will cross the picket lines just long enough to clap as the screaming conglomeration is gruesomely and efficiently silenced by many tons of hydraulic force.

Captain Obvious said...

Paraphrased from some comments I made to VDO Vault earlier this evening. Food for thought:

"The heartless, faceless machine disturbs me greatly and has prompted my commentary about abandoning it altogether. Part of me feels as if everyone involved in the creative process should band together to dismantle the Alliance's power structure. We should force them to beg us for a deal instead of the opposing paradigm that currently rules the day. Another part of me, though, hopes it won't come to that. Extraordinary circumstances would be a necessary pre-requisite for such extraordinary measures, and unfortunately that would mean a protracted strike and the suffering of many. Nobody wants to see that."


"How do I think this will turn out? Either the Alliance will give the writers a fair shake, or they'll continue to fiddle while Rome burns and then watch in horror as the industry rises like a phoenix from the ashes; and leaves them in the dust."

El Rebobinador said...

Hey guys!!!
Im from Chile ..check my video of the WGA Support.
We are in the pickett line with you...Dont Give Up...

mbailey said...

I read the TV Week article, and it's very enlightening.

How about we just ditch the networks altogether and just go do this thing ourselves?

With some hard work and professional networking, are we not reaching the place in the internet economy where you can nearly start a network quality show on a network budget and make it work? Especially if the network middle-men are cut out?

What we need is a few of the striking power house writer-producers to get together a put together a couple of pilots JUST for the internet, and promote them on the internet, threatening to simply ditch the nets and go broadband. You'll make less money now, but the rewards could be huge.

If they realize we don't need their residuals, that we can keep it ALL for ourselves, suddenly the power will shift, and they will run back to the table. Don't just tell them we don't believe their numbers, let's show them!

Every day the whole "Internet is untested" thing stinks worse than a pig farm. It works, and it pays.

Hypatia's Ghost said...

I'm behind you guys, all the way. .... And you know, I've never been so directly and personally impacted by a strike in my life. ;-) Oh noez, they be stealin' our shared moment-to-moment culture!

Kara said...

Hey writers,

Reddit.com wants to buy you beer.
It's not as good as getting a deal on residuals, but hey, it's beer.

More details here:

JoannaWGA said...

I'd love to hear the writers strike mega mix but the link's not working... any chance VDO Vault can re-post? Thanks!

Frustrated Bystander said...

Thank you John Aboud and United Hollywood for keeping on top of this line of inquiry. AMPTP is definitely exploring how to open up and exploit the internet market and potentials for distribution. Keep these articles coming on their deals, positioning, and penetration protocols. It lets certain outsiders understand what's truly happening in the transformation of distribution. It will also allow this new generation of creative content generators and internet producers to synergize a new model in their in own ground breaking and creative ways.

It will be interesting during Upfronts, if AMPTP chooses to continue the strike through February and March, to see what happens if they didn't do their homework and get that pile of stockpiled shootable pilot scripts and deliver only reality programming. I wonder how the advertisers will also change this market. There was time when we used to watch advertiser sponsored TV. Remember "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom?" What's to stop a return to that model in the new frontier of the internet?

How's this B*%tch? said...

I'd rather they bought milk for the babies. Can we get a sponser for the babies please?

VDOVault said...

There's a link to the playlist off of http://vdovault.wordpress.com

...unfortunately MusicWebtown the hosting site is acting hinky as I write this so downloading to an iPod or an mp3 player is not currently working (I'm trying to figure out a workaround hang in there)

NOTE: The music starts playing as soon as the page is loaded, so get ready to hit the pause or stop button in the upper left corner of the player (both buttons are just above the blank WGA strike sign) if you don't want to listen immediately.

VDOVault said...

Okay an update

There's a link to the playlist off of http://vdovault.wordpress.com

MusicWebtown the hosting site is now behaving properly so downloading to an iPod or an mp3 player is working again

NOTE: The music starts playing as soon as the page (http://www.musicwebtown.com/vdovault/149255) is loaded, so get ready to hit the pause or stop button in the upper left corner of the player (both buttons are just above the blank WGA strike sign) if you don't want to listen immediately.