Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Quote of the week

From Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO, about the current writer's strike and the realities of new media:

Writer's strike: "Insanity." "There's all of this rhetoric by the media companies about this 'great new digital business', which is a small, growing business that will one day be dominant (but it isn't, yet there's no money there yet." Because all of the entertainment folks are talking up digital, the writers assume there's a lot of money there. Take Prom Queen: "We made history, but we didn't make money. ... I'm doing it because I think it's fun; I think it's the future. ... For a writer to give up today's money for a piece in three years is stupid." The studios can't give in because there's nothing to give. "The studios deserve what they're getting, because they've been announcing how great it is." But it's only great in theory. "They made deals with Steve Jobs, who takes them to the cleaners. Who's making money? Apple." Entertainment executives can't admit that they're not making money. Writers should be striking in Cupertino. (Hard not to see this as a slam on Disney successor Bob Iger, who cut the first video deal with iTunes.)

(tip o the hat to paidcontent.org, commentary is theirs, but I agree with it!)

3 comments:

Darius Kazemi said...

I disagree. The writers got burned on this before, back in the era when DVD was brand new, super expensive to produce, and there was--really!--almost no money in it. To make the same mistake twice would be idiotic.

Also, "For a writer to give up today's money for a piece in three years is stupid." WHAT!?

James said...

The way they've formatted that makes it a real pain to figure out who is saying what about what. Writers getting 2% (for example) now shouldn't make a difference if there's no money in it yet. They're just getting 2% of nothing. When it does turn into a viable revenue stream, they'll be in a good spot.

>Also, "For a writer to give up today's money for a piece in three years is stupid." WHAT!?

I think this is referring to the studios asking writers to not take residuals for a few years so that the studios can "test the business model" to see if it works or not.

John Rogers has a really good rundown of this stuff at Kung Fu Monkey. http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/

Darius Kazemi said...

James: I think you're right about that quote. If you are right, then yes, it is stupid. (I thought "to give up today's money" meant "to strike." If that's the case, then my WHAT stands.)

And yeah, John Rogers' site is where I've been getting most of my strike-related info. KFMonkey FTW.