- Christopher Nolan blames streaming services for the recent Hollywood strikes, as studios mismanaging their businesses due to lower revenue from streaming have resulted in a lack of funds to pay actors and writers.
- The increase in streaming prices by platforms like Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, and Hulu can be seen as an attempt to offset the additional costs of paying talent more due to the demand for residual payments from streaming.
- While streaming has its benefits, the continuous increase in prices may have a negative impact on the industry, as studios need to find creative solutions to maintain profitability without losing subscribers from higher costs.
Director Christopher Nolan has blamed streaming for the 2023 writers and actors strikes in Hollywood, saying business mismanagement related to the services have caused issues in the industry. This year, both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA went on strike against major studios, with one core demand for both parties being residual payments from streaming services. While writers struck a deal with the AMPTP, actors are continuing to negotiate.
Speaking with Variety, Nolan called out studios for mismanaging their businesses, citing streaming services as a major issue in the recent Hollywood strikes. The director said the reason studios don’t have money to pay actors and writers is because putting content onto streaming platforms doesn’t make them as much money. Check out what Nolan had to say below:
Part of the craziness with the labor negotiations this summer has been the studios sitting there and going, ‘Well, we can’t pay you because we don’t have enough money.’ To which the answer is ‘Well, you don’t have enough money because you’re not managing your business correctly. You’re not getting the same amount of money for your product that you were before.’ The shift to streaming has disrupted the entire industry and created problems for everybody.
Is Nolan Right About Streaming Services?
Following the WGA coming to an agreement with studios, Netflix and Apple TV+ announced price increases to their services, just as Disney+ and Hulu implemented $3 per month price hikes of their own. While the increase of streaming prices in 2023 hasn’t been directly attributed to streaming residuals, higher prices would balance out any losses a company faces having to pay talent more money. It also echoes Nolan’s idea that streaming is causing problems for Hollywood because of a lack of revenue.
Peacock, Paramount+, and Max have also increased prices for various plans throughout the year.
While streaming has resulted in memorable TV and movies like Netflix’s Stranger Things or Hulu’s No One Will Save You, the only way services make money is through subscriptions. While getting more people to use a service will increase its revenue, there’s no guarantee a streaming platform will continuously get new subscribers all the time. This would explain why price increases have become commonplace, as services are looking to earn a larger profit.
Christopher Nolan‘s perspective makes sense despite the many benefits of being able to watch movies and TV without having to pay for them individually. The continuous increase of streaming prices – especially to ensure writers and actors are fairly compensated – could have a negative impact on the industry going forward. If studios still want to prioritize streaming, they may need creative solutions to ensure they can make a profit without losing subscribers from increasing costs.