Writers Guild Reports Puny Payout from Internet Content

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With the rise of video-on-demand services like Netflix and Hulu, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the internet is becoming an increasingly lucrative medium for media companies.

Certainly, the Writers Guild of America believed so, going on strike for four months between November 2007 and February 2008 for reasons that included wanting fairer compensation for new media work. Well, WGA West has just released figures on the amount of 2010 new media residuals for its members and… the payouts could be higher.

WGA West reports $2.63 million for 2010 new media work, which sounds impressive before you realize that this number is for all its members; on average, each member is making only $219.16 from residual payments online. Surprisingly, that is 24% up on 2009, which is the one piece of good news for WGA members in this whole thing.

But as audiences move towards accepting the internet as a regular source of programming, it’d be nice to think that compensation for the shift in viewing would grow to something that could at least allow WGA members to pay for their own internet subscriptions annually.

MORE: Study: 32% of Netflix Customers Plan to Cut Their Cable Costs

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.