When I'm scrolling on a streamer, I have to admit that if I see a famous face in the thumbnail, I take that title a little more seriously. Streamers know that they need those faces to get average people to click.

But we have a situation where we don't have enough stars anymore.

And while some shows with great reviews, like Baby Reindeer, are able to surpass stars, it does feel like streamers need stars., and stars need streamers in order to make them more famous and get them paid.

So how can this work out?

Well, streamers are trying to find a new way to pay the stars of their shows.

Let's dig into it.

Why Are Streamers Changing the Pay Structure?

Why Are Streamers Changing the Pay Structure?Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in episode 104 of 'Wednesday.'Courtesy of Netflix \u00a9 2022

At the beginning of the streaming era, stars were paid a lot of money upfront. The thinking was that since they would get no box office reward for being in one of these movies, they should be paid out now.

Well, a lot of streaming movies didn't become hits, and yet stars were still paid.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple has already met with high ranking talent reps to propose a new way to pay actors in these roles, in order to level the playing field.

SAG and the WGA went on strike last summer because they felt as if they were not participating in the profit share of hits on streamers. So there is a bit of a disconnect here. Especially since the actors typically getting these big payouts were just the two leads, with others not getting the protections they'd get if a movie was released theatrically.

So, what's the new proposal?

The details of the leaked Apple deal is that talent will receive performance-based bonuses determined by a points system. The points awarded will be based on three factors:

  1. New Subscriber Acquisition: The number of people who subscribed to streamers specifically to watch the show.
  2. Total Watch Time: The cumulative amount of time viewers spent watching the show.
  3. Cost Efficiency: The show's production cost relative to the size of its audience.

The talent involved in the top three highest-scoring shows will be eligible to share a bonus pool of up to $10.5 million per season.

Now, we don't have details on how this stuff would be tracked -- so it's a bit of a moot point without those abilities.

In order for any of this to happen, streamers would have to give real numbers to reps and lawyers. And this comes on the wings of Netflix saying they're done releasing numbers to the general public and investors.

Transparency has always been the key in all these negotiations, so I don't think any plan that makes whether or not a show is a hit or a star is a star more opaque will work, but time will tell.

Let me know what you think in the comments.