How does the 2023 writer’s strike connect to podcasts? How many podcasts were affected by the strike? How do podcasts fit into the entertainment industry? These are the questions we found floating around the virtual Zoom room when we at Mr. Thrive Media started talking about the 2023 WGA writer’s strike.
The writer’s strike went on from May 2 to September 27 in 2023. It affected writers directly in the entertainment industry, and many who found themselves linked in new ways to the industry. We weren’t surprised but we were curious to watch how the strike had an effect on podcasts.
Now the strike has ended and agreements are coming together to pay writers better. It’s time to talk about the writer’s strike and how it spread across the industry of writers and creative content.
What Was the Recent Writer’s Strike?
From May 2 to September 27, 2023, the writers of the WGA went on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The WGA, also known as the Writers Guild of America, represents writers across Hollywood and the entertainment industry. It is a large group, affecting productions in areas not everyone thinks about until a strike starts.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has agreements in place with the WGA for paying and managing writers across projects. The writers went on strike to demand higher pay and a better pay structure. They also demanded more protection and pay in terms of artificial intelligence use in content production.
The strike ended on September 27 with the Alliance agreeing to alter the contract. Those precise details aren’t entirely finalized and public yet. The overall result of the strike, however, is that writers will be paid fairly for their work.
Where Do Podcasts Fit In the Entertainment Industry?
So, how does the 2023 writer’s strike connect to podcasts? The connections are webbed across both industries. First and foremost, there is the connection of podcasts created under WGA contracts. Things like narrated podcasting with hired voice actors, specific industry podcast guests, and public speakers in podcasting are directly tied to the WGA and the industry.
On a more minute and case-by-case level, podcasts fit into the entertainment industry and the strike depending on content. There are many podcasts structured on conversations about the entertainment industry. Those shows were affected by the lack of new content they could unpack. Podcast hosts of all types felt the effects of the strike.
Were Podcasts Halted By the Strike?
Some podcasts were halted by the 2023 WGA writer’s strike. Podcasts that focused on interviews with entertainment industry professionals were stopped. This was primarily due to the fact that these professionals weren’t able to promote their material under the rules of the strike.
Some fictional podcasts were also stopped by the strike. Not every podcast is under contract with the WGA, but many are. These contracted shows were stopped because their writers were part of the strike. Overall, not every podcast was halted by the strike, but enough were to make a statement about it and consider the effects on the industry.
Primary Connections of Podcasts and the Writer’s Strike and Entertainment Industry
Podcasts were affected by the WGA writer’s strike because of some specific connections in the entertainment industry. These connections are the contractual binds between podcasts and the rest of the world of writers, but what about intrinsic bonds? These four primary connections between podcasts and the entertainment industry bring us together beyond contractual agreements.
4. Creative Spaces for Storytelling
To begin, podcasts are, like all other forms of written content creation, a creative space for storytelling. The art of creating an exceptional podcast rests on the host’s ability to spin a story. Not all podcasts are contractually set up as stories. They all, however, have the trait of sharing a tale that is ongoing and meant to convey a message.
3. Career Options for Creatives
For creatives and writers in particular, there are a lot of open-ended questions about career options. Yes, every industry needs writers, but how do you find that work? Podcasts are one of those options! Writing podcast content can ease you into the industry, pad your resume, and give you consistent work.
2. Contract-Protected Employment
One of the most tangible connections between podcasts and the 2023 WGA strike was the contracts imposed on many podcasts. Even outside of the WGA, writers on podcasts are contracted to do that work on a regular basis. These contracts and terms are a staple of the industries writers work in.
1. Community-Driven Sustainability
One of the biggest drivers of the success of the writer’s strike was how much support the writers received from their community. All creative content, podcasts included, is supported by a close community. From podcast listeners to loyal TV show watchers, creatives rely on their community to stand by them through their industry struggles.
Frequently Asked Questions About Podcasts and the Writer’s Strike
While everyone has known the writer’s strike was going on, the details of the strike were less clear unless you looked into the root causes and concerns. Additionally, the ties to podcasting weren’t openly talked about outside of places where people were directly affected. Check out our answers to these frequently asked questions to learn more about the strike and the podcast effect.
Are Podcasts Covered By WGA?
The WGA strike of 2023 primarily affected types of podcasts in the interview area, and some fictional podcasts. Interview-format podcasts were affected because of the work and promotion restrictions placed on people within the WGA and other striking communities. There are folks who couldn’t work on anything related to projects, and therefore couldn’t participate in interviews.
For fictional podcasts, the rules were less clear. There were some clear-cut stops for podcasts that were covered under contract in the WGA. For others, it was for the creators of the podcast to decide. Ultimately, yes, the WGA writer’s strike of 2023 did affect podcasts to varying degrees.
What Is the Status Of the Writer’s Strike?
The writer’s strike went on from May 2 to September 27 of 2023, with final discussions wrapping on a note of needing further changes. The end of the writer’s strike came when the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers agreed to ratify the contract with the demands of the union.
It is projected that, once the change goes through, writers all together will be paid $233 million more per year than before. While the aftermath of the strike is still playing out, writers are now able to work while the details are stamped out.
Are Podcasts Affected By the WGA Strike?
Yes, podcasts were affected by the 2023 WGA strike. Some podcasts were directly banned from operating. Those primarily include interview-style podcasts, as well as some fictional shows. Additionally, many podcasts were affected in the sense that the strike changed what was being talked about and what could be talked about respectfully in the media.
What Is the Difference Between a Podcast and Other Media?
Podcasts have a variety of traits that differentiate them from other forms of media. One stark contrast is between podcasts and radio shows, which are often the first media to be compared to podcasts. While radio shows are live and cannot be altered, podcasts can be live or pre-recorded. Pre-recorded podcasts have the chance to edit content and make it perfect.
When it comes to podcasts and forms of media such as TV shows and movies, the difference lies in the audience connection. A podcast can be a fictional show, telling a story in the same way many other productions do. The key, however, is that podcast listeners get the tale directly from the host. It’s a one-on-one experience for each listener, making it more intimate.
What Do Writers Want In the 2023 Strike?
In the 2023 WGA strike, writers were seeking:
- Higher pay
- A more stable pay structure
- More fair deals around content created with artificial intelligence
These are typically the standard contract inadequacies that lead to strikes. The artificial intelligence changes needed are a sign of the times, with AI in business and creative endeavors becoming more mainstream.
The Writer’s Strike and the Podcast Industry: Strike Changes Going Forward
Going forward, the connections between podcasts, the entertainment industry, the WGA, and everyone involved in this mix of industries have a bright, untold future. One thing we all learned from the writer’s strike is writers are more connected to each other than separate shows and industries would think. Whether you’re writing for podcasts in the digital ecosystem or for TV shows, writers come together over similar work and shared desires.
Here at Mr. Thrive Media, we work on podcasts, but we also work across industries through our clients. The influence of podcasts spreads across those industries and can be used to support writers and creatives of all types. If you’re looking to work on a podcast, or expand your business with a company that supports people first, reach out to Mr. Thrive today.