May 12, 2023

A World Without Writers

Frankie Pike

The ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike is causing major disruptions in the entertainment industry, presenting a challenge for advertisers who rely on compelling programming to engage audiences with their ads.

The strike began May 2 and is the first since the WGA’s 2007-2008 strike, which lasted 100 days and cost the California economy more than $2 billion. Writers are asking for transparency about streaming data and standardized residuals.

The WGA argues that writers’ average incomes have significantly decreased from a decade ago due to the AMPTP’s (the association representing studios) share of streaming residuals. Additionally, the writers demand that artificial intelligence, such as ChatGPT, be used as a research tool and not as a replacement for human writers.

“The week has shown, I think, just how committed and fervent writers’ feelings are about all of this,” said Chris Keyser, a chair of the W.G.A. negotiating committee, according to The New York Times. “They’re going to stay out until something changes because they can’t afford not to.”

The strike has already impacted various productions, with some forced to continue without writers or being completely shut down. “Stranger Things,” “Yellowjackets” and “Saturday Night Live” have been put on hold, along with many others.

Many have referenced how bad TV shows got without writers during the last strike. We can probably expect even more reality TV programming.

Best IN Branding

The Dieline, the preeminent authority on innovative packaging design, released its 2023 shortlist of the best in packaging design.

The top three winners won’t be announced until June, but there’s lots to admire in the meantime. Here are a few of our favorites.

Other news

  • Elon Musk says he has found a new CEO for Twitter. Linda Yaccarino is a longtime media executive who served as chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal.
  • Google is shifting the way it presents search results to incorporate conversations with artificial intelligence, along with more short video content and social media posts.
  • Fifty-two percent of Americans now listen to podcasts at least once a month. And they prefer single-brand sponsorships.
  • Meta reworked how Reels are monetized.

That’s all for this week’s Marketing Roundup. Check back in next Friday for more news. And subscribe to our newsletter below for additional updates.