Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Online Profits Actors Don't Receive
In February, CEO Jason Kilar said Hulu will have 1 million paying customers by the end of the year and generate nearly $500 million in revenue, up from $263 million in 2010. He has said the company is profitable
(from Yahoo Finance). Under current contracts, Hulu shares little of that profit with actors. In 2009 I wrote the current internet streaming residual structure effectively ends residuals and Jon Healey in the Los Angeles Times pointed out:
...many writers and actors don't view the new residuals for programs streamed on Hulu and other online sites as being "more generous" than what they've relied on for years in television. Nor are there any residuals to be paid when a program made for the Internet is resold to other new-media outlets.
The ad-supported streaming provisions of the contracts are the real flash-points, because many union members see Hulu and its ilk taking the place of reruns on TV. In their minds, they are trading [back in 2009] hefty TV residuals for parsimonious Internet ones.
According to The New York Times, the producers have planned to end residuals since at least 2007:
[Producers] were emphatic in calling for the dismantling of a system under which specific payments are made when movies and programs are put on DVD, shown abroad or otherwise resold.
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