Apple has agreed to sign a Writers Guild of America contract to provide better working benefits to writers than the minimum guidelines that are currently imposed. The strategy was intended to impact future WGA negotiations competing for streaming services, which is ultimately a stepping stone toward winning the rights to favorite TV shows and movies that are currently being distributed to streaming platforms like HBO, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video.
According to Variety, Apple has agreed to terms that are above the WGA’s baseline for free-to-stream online content. The contract states that Apple writers who create material that airs on television for free will be able to receive future script fees, weekly payments, residuals, and other vastly improved conditions as a result of the new agreement. Primarily, the salary and compensation for writers in the entertainment industry have been overshadowed when obvious improvements can be made. Fortunately for these writers, Apple has introduced a new relationship between the two parties that can help promote a mutualistic relationship between the two. As the writers receive better conditions from their work, Apple will have better chances to land a top TV shows or movies tied to its brand. For instance, Apple will aim to eventually anticipate the success that HBO has had with Game of Thrones or how Netflix has thrived with shows like Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black.
The Writers Guild of America provided the following statement on the new contract via an email addressed to its members:
“These deal terms are significant… The current [minimum basic agreement] does not contain minimums or residuals for projects on free-to-consumer services (think Crackle). Terms have to be negotiated on a writer by writer basis. Except, now, at Apple.”
Apple is on its way to land a prolific TV show or movie, but this contract is, more importantly, a milestone for Hollywood writers who aim to receive better compensation for their work that entertains millions of Americans and viewers around the world.