SAG-AFTRA Implements New Payment Model for Streaming Performers
In a major development, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has announced a new payment structure for actors working on high-performing original streaming series and films. Under the new agreement, actors will receive a “streaming participation bonus” in addition to their regular compensation.
Initially, SAG-AFTRA had proposed a revenue sharing model, wherein actors would receive a percentage of the revenue generated from streaming platforms. However, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) objected to this proposal and expressed concerns about the accuracy of using Parrot Analytics’ tool to determine revenue sharing payouts.
Consequently, SAG-AFTRA shifted gears and proposed a flat fee per subscriber model, which would translate to approximately 57 cents per subscriber per year. This new payment structure ensures that actors receive a fair share of the revenue generated by popular streaming content.
The revenue generated from the flat fee model will be deposited into a fund managed jointly by representatives from SAG-AFTRA and management. This collaborative approach aims to ensure transparency and accountability in the payment distribution process.
SAG-AFTRA’s tentative agreement also includes a success benchmark, similar to the Writers Guild of America’s contract for streaming residuals. This means that actors will receive a success bonus, which will double their fixed residual payments. In contrast, the success-based residual payments under the Writers Guild of America’s contract only apply to writers.
To make the payment distribution process more equitable, SAG-AFTRA’s contract mandates the creation of a payment distribution fund. Seventy-five percent of the success bonus will be allocated to performers, while the remaining 25 percent will be distributed based on guidelines set by the fund’s trustees.
Notably, this agreement also extends its benefits to actors working on ad-supported streaming platforms, bringing them under the same terms as subscription video-on-demand programs. This inclusion aims to ensure equal treatment and fair compensation for actors regardless of the streaming platform they work for.
In addition to these payment advancements, both SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America secured gains to fixed residuals for streaming programming, including an increase in foreign residuals. These achievements mark a significant step forward in ensuring fair compensation for performers in the rapidly expanding streaming industry.
The new contracts negotiated by SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America will not only benefit actors and writers but also contribute to the overall growth and development of the streaming landscape. With these agreements in place, performers can now look forward to fairer compensation and recognition for their invaluable contributions to the success of original streaming content.
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