Transcript: Cover Charge and a Minimum
Rob Long on how to make money in TV again
This is Rob Long with Martini Shot for The Ankler.
If you have a kid, or know a kid, somewhere between the ages of 7 and 17, you know that when they don't know the answer to a question, they don't say "I don't know." They say "iunno."
Saying "I don't know" implies, in some way, self-reflection. I don't know the answer to this question, it says, and this disquiets me slightly.
Saying "iunno," implies leave me alone, I don't care, it’s not a big question, someone else will figure it out.
Which makes sense, really, because any kid between the ages of 7 and 17 knows that his answer doesn't really matter because he's about to be told what to do anyway. It's a conservation of energy thing: why waste all of that breath and brain power enunciating the phrase "I don't know" when you can just shrug and say "iunno" and keep scrolling?
Last week, someone asked me if I thought the big strikes of 2023 was a "tipping point," to use one of those annoying pop phrases. I didn't know the answer, but I knew enough not to say "iunno."
Whether or not these past few months have been a tipping point, they've done one thing: they've changed the answer that everyone in the entertainment industry gives — and I mean, everyone: writers, executives, lawyers, directors, agents, all of us who have been riding this incredible gravy train — we've all been giving the same answer to a lot of questions — like, how are we going to measure an audience? How are we going to pay for creative work? How are we going to share and mitigate financial risk? How are we going to develop projects more cheaply?
To which everyone had been saying, “iunno.”