Writers Guild of America strike 2023 and its impact on media & broadcasting industry

The media and broadcasting sector has been facing a formidable challenge, as over 11,000 Hollywood TV and movie writers were on strike from March till September 2023 after their new contract negotiations failed. Consequences of the strike may extend beyond the primary operations of studios, networks, and talent agencies also affecting services such as post-production teams, studio personnel, public relations firms, catering enterprises, marketing agencies, and transportation, to name a few.

The strikes centered around several pivotal issues: the rise of AI-written content, deteriorating pay and worsening working conditions, which concerns writers about job stability and, according to the Writers Guild of America, keeps “devaluating the profession of writing”. 

Milken Institute Chief Global Strategist Kevin Klowden estimates that the economy will take around $5 billion hit from the strikes, which means delays in production, jobs loss, higher expenses, and the potential for a decrease in the quality of output. And while the strike seems poised to end as writers and studios have finally reached a deal, their influence on scripted content may cause unprecedented consequences. 


What can be expected in the coming months? 

Anticipated outcomes from the strikes include a surge in content that is not scripted, such as documentary series and reality programming. There will likely be an increase in international content production as well. In the interim, viewer preferences are expected to lean towards Sports and Reality TV as consumer viewing habits continue to evolve. 


How does it affect my business?  

As a result of the strikes, the media and broadcasting industry could temporarily shift focus from traditional mass media to online creators and videomakers. According to Goldman Sachs research, the online creator industry would likely double in size over the next five years, from $250 billion today. Studios and streamers will likely try to fill out their release calendars with new deals for influencers who seem to be the only ones left to work with. 

Turning to TikTok and YouTube content creators could be an alternative to traditional major studios and production enterprises. Many creators operate like independent media companies and search for cost-effective equipment options, especially if they just start their influence career, need equipment for a specific project or just need to access high-end equipment that might be outside of their budget. And while renting working with larger studios and production companies may seem more profitable in the long term, renting our gear for freelancers, consultants, temps, and independent contractors can be a great opportunity in times of changing economic landscape and uncertainty. 

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