The streaming world is changing fast and while Netflix is the king of the game right now, they’re having to adapt to maintain the dominance as an onslaught of competition makes its way to the marketplace. In this new streaming world, content is king and that makes top-notch creators a valuable currency. Netflix, in order to ensure those creators want to continue to work with them, is planning to possibly offer financial incentives to help make that prospect just a bit more tantalizing.
According to a new report, Netflix plans to start paying bonuses to filmmakers, which extends to directors, actors and producers, when a movie performs well on the streaming service. The measure of success is said to vary from project to project. Prestige titles, such as Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman or Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, could depend more on awards. On the flip side, something like Triple Frontier or Michael Bay’s upcoming 6 Underground would likely depend more on pure viewership to determine the level of success. While full details haven’t been revealed, it sounds like this will be a fluid system that could change on a case by case basis. It’s not a one size fits all situation.
Netflix does shell out big bucks for certain projects, but this bonus system does make sense. Creators may get a nice payday upfront, but up till now, that was pretty much it. With a traditional, theatrical release, studios built-in bonuses for box office success, and big-name stars will often get points on the back end, meaning they will see a percentage of additional money. That’s how Roberty Downey Jr. made the lion’s share of his money while working in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Iron Man, for example. At Netflix, he simply wouldn’t have that same earnings potential. That could all change now.
Other major companies are looking to get in on the streaming service business. Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock are all going to be here by early 2020. Each of these services is locking down creative talent in exclusive deals. As such, it’s going to be key for Netflix to attract talent in any way they can. They’re not the only game in town anymore. Offering extra money beyond the initial payout is one way to stand out from the crowd. Then again, nothing is preventing Disney from doing the exact same thing.
Netflix is notoriously quiet when it comes to revealing any sort of streaming numbers. On occasion, they’ve boasted when a movie does particularly well, but it’s rare. So it’s a little tough to say which movies in the past would have benefited from this bonus system. Either way, they’re already out-spending every other studio in Hollywood and these new incentives will force them to reach even deeper into those already very deep pockets in an attempt to stay on top. The streaming wars are here and things are going to get ugly. Whether or not that ultimately benefits the consumer remains to be seen.
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