How To Make Money For Creative Talents Of Streaming Media

By Gavin

The revenue sharing of the American TV industry appeared in the 1960s when the production companies relied on ABC, NBC, and CBS to control the audience's prime time. Since then, the concept of income for TV drama creators has gradually changed.

In the early days, the producers of a drama usually charged high distribution fees (usually 30% - 40%) and management fees (15% - 20%), while the actors, drama creators, and almost all individuals who may share the revenue often could not guarantee the revenue.


In the 1980s, the scale was inclined to creative talents. Top writers or producers can negotiate a production commitment for a play or just the first episode with public television stations before going to the producers to discuss investment and distribution.

Producers can also enjoy tax breaks for investment, and most of the production income is tax-free. In that period, creative talents could achieve the preferential conditions of reducing and capping the distribution fee and management fee.

Therefore, if the show is successful, the producer can make ends meet, and the participating creators can also get the corresponding income.

However, at the beginning of the 20th century, when a force from Silicon Valley joined the TV market, the dividend method of creative talents also changed dramatically. These new forces, led by Netflix and Amazon, have invested a lot in earning top creative talents, and the salary structure they provide is quite different from the traditional one.

First of all, these companies show that, unlike public television stations, all script programs invested by the companies in research and development can only be broadcast on their platforms forever. The linear world that has been used to the traditional grading show will give way to the digital world directly facing the consumer model.

Secondly, these companies are very generous to creative talents in the early stage. Compared with the seven-figure contract signed once a year by the top talent, the rich streaming media companies will directly promise an eight-figure annual salary. As a condition, the dividend paid by the signer is also different. It is no longer a fixed amount of dividend according to the income of the drama, but a fixed amount of buyout according to the algorithm, and the buyout dividend is not affected by the performance of the drama.

Nowadays, the investment of high-quality script content is more and more considerable in the production and market. The whole business model is changing from traditional to on-demand. As a result, all parties have bottom-up competition for profit margin and free cash flow.

United States Streaming Media Pricing

$6/monthEpix Now
$9/month, $119/yearAmazon Prime VIdeo
$5/monthApple TV+
$6/month(has AD), $12/month(no AD)Hulu
$6/month(has AD), $10/month(no AD)CBS All Access
$6/month, $70/yearDisney+
$15/monthHBO Max


I still remember when I was a child, when I was watching TV, I could only watch the TV programs arranged by the TV station before. When I was a child, I wanted to watch cartoons very much. Sometimes I couldn't watch them because they were staged during study time. It's a pity to miss the cartoon. When I went to school the next day, sometimes I could only listen to my classmates discuss the cartoon that was shown the day before.

Now, no matter how the TV stations and actors share the profits, we are not very concerned about it. After all, it's 2021, and every industry needs to make progress.

What I'm concerned about is that as long as I want to watch any TV, I can watch it anytime and anywhere through streaming media channels such as Epix. I don't have to follow the TV station's plan anymore. Moreover, it can be seen with a variety of intelligent devices. Now it's very convenient for us audience, isn't it?