Nothing gained in writers’ strike

The strike is about to end, and Hollywood is preparing to get back to normal. The problem, of course, is that “normal” is the problem, and all the smiles and “atta-boys” in the world won’t change that.

Diane Mermigas has an excellent overview today, and “the problem” is outlined in this statement:

The advertising-supported streaming Web video online is television’s new syndication pipeline and film’s speediest exhibition window–replacing more tightly managed sources of wealth.

I’m sure that Hollywood views the Web as its “new syndication pipeline,” and that’s the problem. They view the disruption as just a shift from one form of mass marketing to another, and that is sadly ignorant. Jeff Zucker said the strike will make them stronger, because it allowed them to look at “the way we do business.” Right. His response so far has been to cut pilots and up-front parties. Now that’s creative!

From my position, I see this a lot. Traditional media is caught trying to either maintain the status quo or move it elsewhere, and that alone won’t save the institution. While this is taking place, venture capitalists with deep pockets are investing in “what ifs” designed to dismantle what the old institution is trying to save.

There is much confusion about exactly what’s happening to the old world, but here is a point of clarity that ought to be at the forefront of everybody’s thinking. From a business perspective, it isn’t the fragmenting, unbundling and disintermediation of “content” that’s causing the problem; it’s the evolution of advertising — how to do business absent mass. We need to pay more attention to that than looking for the illusionary replacement known as the “new syndication pipeline.”


  1. […] 11:35 AM Terry Heaton / Terry Heaton’s PoMo Blog: NOTHING GAINED IN WRITERSSTRIKE […]

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