This morning at the Dow Jones & Nielsen Media and Money conference, former Disney CEO Micheal Eisner gave a keynote speech regarding the Hollywood writers strike. You aren’t going to believe what he said.

Eisner’s advice to striking writers: Blame Steve Jobs, not the studios | The Social CNET

Yes thats right, Eisners says no one is making any money with online distribution of Television Shows and Movies, no one except Steve Jobs.

The studios “make deals with Steve Jobs, who takes them to the cleaners. They make all these kinds of things, and who’s making money? Apple! They should get a piece of Apple. If I was a union, I’d be striking up wherever he is.”     

Oh so many things to rant about, where do I start…Why is it that everyone makes a deal with Steve Jobs and then claims it’s a bad deal when they try to renege on it. Are you all admitting that you can’t make a fair deal for yourself. Are you really all that bad at negotiating? This is the bizarest form of a backhanded compliment I have every seen. Multimillion dollar corporations admitting that Apple is taking them to the cleaners. Give me a break!

From the bits and pieces of info that we can piece together about all the itunes distribution deals Apple gets about 30% of the price of the show. That leaves 70% of the purchase price on the table for the studio.Now if we are talking about Television we are talking about $1.39 per episode for something THAT YOU GIVE AWAY FOR FREE over the air and on your own website. Yeah sure maybe you get more than that for the advertising in the show, but how many of your viewers are recording and skipping those ads anyway?

Now if we are talking about movies we are talking about the studio’s earning $6.99 (or more) for a product that they don’t have to produce any physical object for. No pressing of a disk, no manufacturing of a case and no printing of materials. Nada.So in all that your telling me that your losing money to Steve Jobs? I think Steve Jobs just provided you with cash you didn’t have before, as there is no proof out there that any of this online distribution cut into your traditional distribution revenues.<p>Now about the Strike, the way I understand it is the writers just want a higher percentage of the online distribution profits. Eisner claims there are no profits. So… basic math kids, a higher percentage of nothing is still nothing… If you say they will have an argument in a few years when there is money to be had, then why not just set up that percentage now?I think there are plenty of profits to be had through online distribution, my theory is the Studios don’t know what to do with it, have no means of accounting or tracking it and therefor the guys at the top have no idea how much money is really there, which makes dumb guys like Eisner look really really dumb.


Couldn’t agree with you more, Wolfie. First off, the idea that studios are making nothing on the sale of TV shows and movies over the internet is idiotic.

If I’m a lawyer for the writer’s union I say, “Ok, we would like a percentage of your so called nothing. Give the writers 2% of any and all proceeds from online sales. Oh, wait…to do that you’ll have to open your books to auditors so we can see how much ‘nothing’ is REALLY coming in. Opening said books will also let us know if other parts of production are getting any money. Like, say, the actors. Why are so many actors picketing alongside their writing teams? Better question, why aren’t they screaming for profits from online sales for themselves? Answer, because they’re already making money off of it. They won’t say so publicly so as not to screw the studios outright, but that’s why you’re hearing no cries of “Me Too!!” coming from the Actor’s Guild.

Eisner, what you said yesterday was truly idiotic and irresponsible. You want us to believe the poor, unsuspecting networks and studios were being taken advantage of by big, bad Steve Jobs? Or could it be that what they really saw was a way to take advantage of the virtual monopoly Jobs and Apple have on the online media market?I think you’ve been vacationing in Fantasyland for far too long, Michael.