According to a new report from Variety, Apple has signed on to the Writers Guild of America’s master contract. The deal was announced by WGA West Presdient David Goodman and executive director David Young.
The two say that Apple has agreed to terms above the current baseline for free-to-stream online content. This means that writers who create material for Apple that airs for free will receive script fees, weekly payments, and more. These are details that are not currently present in the master document.
“These deal terms are significant,” Goodman and Young said. “First, the current MBA 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.”
Young and Goodman say that Apple’s deal could drive a major shift when the next master contract is negotiated. The current deal, which was negotiated less than an hour before expiration last year, expires on May 1st, 2020. WGA West believes that it’s “imperative” writers are rewarded for their creation of content that airs for free.
“Second, while almost all Guild-covered Internet programming has thus far been under a subscription (consumer pay) model — like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu — Facebook has already launched shows on their free-to-consumer service,” Goodman and Young said.
“As this market develops, it will be imperative to negotiate MBA protections for writers creating content for such services. Our Apple deal moves us in that direction while the 2020 negotiations are still two years away.”
Apple’s agreement to the Writers Guild of America contract is just the latest development in its ongoing original content work.