5 Reasons Streaming Services Are Detrimental to Actors
The Dark Side of Streaming
(By Carmichael Phillips)
In recent years, the entertainment landscape has undergone a seismic shift with the rise of streaming services. While these platforms offer unprecedented access to a vast array of content for viewers, the impact on actors in the industry is not all positive. Let’s explore five reasons why streaming services may be detrimental to actors.
- **Limited Royalties and Compensation:**
Unlike traditional television or film distribution models, streaming services often operate on a subscription-based revenue system. This can result in significantly lower royalties for actors, as they may not receive residuals each time their work is viewed. The lack of a consistent and fair compensation model can make it challenging for actors to sustain their livelihood solely through streaming projects.
- **Shorter Attention Spans, Lesser Recognition:**
The binge-watching culture promoted by streaming services can lead to shorter attention spans for viewers. This, in turn, reduces the recognition and fame that actors might gain from their roles. Unlike the enduring impact of a weekly television series or a blockbuster film, streaming content tends to be consumed rapidly, potentially diminishing the lasting impact and visibility of an actor’s work.
- **Decreased Job Stability:**
The traditional television model often provided actors with long-term job stability through multi-season contracts. In contrast, many streaming series opt for shorter seasons or limited series formats. While this can offer diverse opportunities, it also results in less job stability for actors who may find themselves without a project once a season concludes, leading to increased uncertainty in their careers.
- **Algorithmic Casting and Typecasting:**
Streaming services heavily rely on algorithms to recommend content to viewers. This algorithmic approach extends to casting decisions, potentially leading to a narrow range of roles being offered to actors based on their past performances. This typecasting can limit an actor’s ability to showcase their versatility and take on diverse roles, hindering their artistic growth and professional development.
- **Diminished Theatrical Experience:**
The theatrical experience has long been a cornerstone of the acting profession. However, the dominance of streaming services has led to a decline in the production and promotion of theatrical releases. For actors, this means fewer opportunities to engage with audiences in a live and communal setting, potentially eroding the unique and irreplaceable aspects of the traditional theater experience.
While streaming services have undeniably revolutionized the way audiences consume content, it’s essential to acknowledge the potential downsides for actors. From financial challenges to limited recognition and job stability, actors navigating the streaming era face a set of unique hurdles. As the industry continues to evolve, finding a balance that ensures fair compensation and diverse opportunities for actors remains a critical challenge for the future of entertainment.