Monday, July 17, 2023

Let's Talk Data

One of the things about the idea prevalent in the corporate world that one doesn't discuss salary, is that data makes it easier for you to negotiate for your worth. 
(To be clear, I said prevalent, but more correctly I mean the reason corporations like this logic, not necessarily the folks in those corporations.)
For example if worker buddy and I are hired within two weeks of each other, have similar experience, and yet are not being paid the same, we're gonna wonder why. 
And so, one of the things that has happened as part of the rise of streaming entertainment, is that they don't share the data. Creators on a show that airs on broadcast or cable, have access to ways that the viewership of these shows are measured. (And yes, those measurements, are imperfect, but they are at least consistently imperfect.)
And sure, in the early days of streaming, most streaming was subscription based, not ad supported, so the reasons for needing to share externally such numbers were not there. 
But they also, weren't sharing them with the creators. Not often. So, if they wanted to renew your show and you wanted to come back but also wanted a raise, you were just kind of groping at what they should give you.
And so, now we are years into the thing we call streaming, and now basically all of them are ad supported, and yet the numbers are still ???. Some things, like Emmy nominations, or even the idea that they want to renew you, are some indication. But not numbers. 
And so, much like encouraging you not to discuss salary with your co-workers, these folks all have to negotiate without data that the other side has. 
And so now we have actors and writers on strike.
And I have to think, and look, I am not the first to suggest this either, that the studios are going hard line on this because the easiest way to resolve some of this, would be to share data. 
In the early days, due to the no ads, and also the startup nature of streaming, there was likely some reason beyond, lol, and they won't even know if their show is loved. 
But now, the studios like their creators not knowing, like being able to make renewal decisions and salary decisions when they have data that other people don't. 
So anyway, I love TV and movies. I hope the actors and the writers get the data they need to make their careers more viable, and not something only someone with three other jobs or a small inheritance can do.