Streamers Help Reignite Big Battles Over Film and TV Profit Participation

January 15, 2022Media Mention

Sky Moore, an Entertainment Partner with extensive knowledge in film financing, shared his perspective with Variety regarding how Hollywood Studios share their profits with talent and creatives. The fight has taken a new shape now that streamers are part of the conversation. Pertinent topics of discussion range from net profit, royalties, residuals, and control and ownership of copyright and intellectual property rights. 


Moore says, “the amusing aspect of the participations process is that film companies, by gradually making the concept of contingent compensation almost meaningless, have shot themselves in the foot. What used to be a valid and necessary means for spreading risk in a risky industry is now discounted as a joke. The result is that talent demands money upfront or a gross participation … film companies would be far better served if they return to a realistic and fair approach to contingent compensation, which would result in a drastic reduction in fixed film costs and the spreading of risk. Participations would be paid on successful films, where it can be afforded, and unsuccessful films would not be the devastating blows that they are today.”

“For us it’s great. They pay upfront and can’t cheat you to hell,” says Moore. “You can’t tie a film’s performance to subscriber metrics. It’s too hard to glom onto a subscription model. This won’t change until there’s a serious shake out.”

“People are caught up with the notion that a streamer deal is going to be super profitable, so they try to build in clauses for talent to that effect if and when such a deal comes about,” says Moore. “It does not change anything, and the money from any deal should simply go into the pot and be shared as part of the profits.”

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