Monday, November 19, 2007

SERIOUSLY? No money from new media?

Last week, I got an invite to log onto Hulu, NBC's new video sharing website, as a private beta tester. I'd signed up a while back, before I even knew that writers weren't getting paid residuals for new media. Yesterday, for the purpose of research only, I logged on, and was amazed to see that NBC has full episodes streaming for more than 100 shows, at least 30 of which are currently airing new episodes on TV. If NBC wasn't expecting this to make truckloads of cash, why put so much effort into developing the website?

The one episode I watched, last week's installment of Life, had five commercials for Chrysler, plus a helpful intro reminding me that they were sponsoring the episode. I'm kind of assuming that Chrysler didn't sponsor that episode out of the goodness of their hearts. In fact, I'm betting they paid NBC a substantial amount for those ads. And I know for a fact that the people who wrote that episode, and the hundreds of others on NBC's site, are essentially being robbed of their portion of that money.

Don't watch shows online, guys. Don't stream, and don't download, until NBC and the rest see the light and give the writers their fair share of the money that is obviously coming in. Below the cut is another great video from the WGA about the hypocrisy of big media claiming to writers that new media has an uncertain future, while crowing about their huge profits from new media to shareholders. Unbelievable. Have you sent in your pencils yet?