Media C-Suite Week No. 38, Issue No. 25

Media C-Suite The Week No 38 Issue 25

A Week in the Media C-Suite

It’s Sunday, the 17th of September 2023.

As the strikes continue in Hollywood, thousands of film-makers everywhere else are busy trying to adapt to the growing demand for more content.  Outside Hollywood, producers are moving Heaven and Earth to keep projects moving forward while distributors, streamers and TV execs are beginning to run out of the Hollywood content completed before the strikes. 

Sometime in October, so the analysts say, the Hollywood inventory runs out. 

The Studio bosses in the US now have pressure beginning to build, and some will not have the shoulders for it. 

Something’s Gotta Give

Last week, The Drew Barrymore Show (CBS) clawed its way back into production in the US despite the picket lines and a lot of pain.  For a brief few days, a handful of writers, producers and crew managed to work and get paid.  Earlier today, Ms. Barrymore announced that she would be shutting down again.

This will reinforce the strikes, of course, and place an increasing amount of pressure onto the two sides of the dispute between the AMPTP and both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA.

But the real pressure is on the idea of Hollywood itself.  As networks, streamers and cinema owners begin to feel the effects of restless audiences, they will be forced to deliver content produced elsewhere.  There is much to choose from, and American audiences have become more familiar with foreign content.

It would not seem impossible if some members of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA unions begin considering the work opportunities on foreign productions.  The effect could ultimately mean that “Hollywood” grows beyond Los Angeles County and beyond the Studios.   

Just Catching Up?

Here’s what you might have missed.

Maybe Its Time to Try Something New

Sticking with the Hollywood theme, there is good reason for members of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA to be on strike.  The fundamental business model in Hollywood is obsolete in an era of digital production and distribution.  Both sides of the dispute agree that this is true.

So, what’s a producer to do?  Not the AMPTP members, but real producers who have to figure out how to earn a living from making content when distributors take nearly everything.

Film-maker Shiv Rajagopal has given this a lot of thought, contributing his first article to the Media C-Suite.

We think there are real opportunities in what he’s written.

Looking Ahead?

It’s good to find a vantage point!

Taking Stock

The publicly-listed media conglomerates at the heart of the Hollywood strikes face mounting pressure to either announce a strategy to deal with them or an alternative to Hollywood content.  That pressure takes the form of falling share prices. 

What comes next are changes on the Boards of Directors, and then changes to who the CEO is. 

In the meantime, the world’s largest investors will begin looking at alternatives and media entrepreneurs will begin to roll them out.

Any period of interest rate hikes (note that the EU just increased rates again) will only accelerate this.

For some reference points on what careful observers might be seeing, we’ve selected a number of articles to help you navigate the upcoming Media & Entertainment terrain.

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