Why Are Studios Like Disney & Paramount Unwilling to Pay Actors & Writers More? Here Are a Few Reasons…





Recently, both writers and actors have gone on strike to demand more pay from streaming services. They are also asking for limits on Artificial Intelligence (AI) with how it is used in making movies and TV shows to help protect jobs.

Why are studios so unwilling to offer pay raises? According to MSNBC, one of the main issues is the fact that streaming services are losing money and are struggling to find a way to be profitable.

Disney recently reported that Disney+ lost $659 million in just the first three months of 2023. That works out to a daily loss of $7.2 million just on Disney+.

Other services like Peacock, Paramount+, Max, and more are all losing money, and while some are expecting to become profitable in 2024 or 2025, many are still trying to figure out exactly how to do that.

Putting even more pressure on studios is the fact that over the last ten years, traditional cable TV companies have seen their revenues fall by 51%. Cable networks are facing a real issue as total revenues are down $67 billion in 2022 vs. 2012. Not only that but in 2023, cord cutting is seeing record growth as many Americans are looking for ways to save money.

The 2023 writers and actors strike could not have come at a worse moment for studios. Uncertainty about the future of TV has made studios much more willing to fight to keep costs down.

Actors and writers are also facing new challenges. Streaming traditionally has paid less to both writers and actors. Services often argue their seasons are shorter than traditional broadcast TV seasons, so they shouldn’t have to pay as much. Writers and actors argue that they are still locked up in these shows, often unable to take other jobs.

Actors and writers are also seeing the rise of AI as a real threat to their jobs. Many studios have been looking into AI to do everything from writing scripts to replacing actors with digital characters. First, as extras in the background and maybe someday even with lead roles, characters could be nothing more than computer-generated AI.

These factors have lead actors, writers, and studios to all dig in and fight. All sides fear the future and all sides are trying to get as much as they can as they face uncertainty going forward.

In the end, for this to be resolved, all sides will need to figure out a way to meet in the middle. For now, that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

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