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In recent years, newspaper and TV coverage of contract renewal negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood has placed great emphasis on the new media landscape, and how online streams of member content should be compensated.
Thanks to the latest stats from WGA West, it is possible to quantify just how well (or not so well) west coast scribes are doing these days on the Internet. According to the figures, 2010 new media residuals for west coast union members amounted to a total of $2.63 million.
At first glance, not too bad. But when you divide this amount by the WGA West’s membership total of 12,000, it amounts to an average per member of just $219.16.
That’s barely enough to cover the cost of an awards season tuxedo rental and dry clean. It’s better than nothing, obviously, and actually as a whole a 24% increase over the previous year. But the average sum shows that the union’s new media equation still has a long way to go before it can be truly deemed a Hollywood success story.