Who Will Keeper Test the Keepers?
Assessing Hollywood leadership in a time of cataclysm (with one surprising standout)
For a doomsayer like myself, these should be the best of times. Everywhere you turn you’ve got showers of plummeting valuations, talk of mass cutbacks, studios tail-spinning in confusion, CEOs drowning beneath the tides of the culture war. For a congenital Cassandra, it's an embarrassment of riches.
Even so, I just can't escape the feeling that the industry's bubble of denial and happy talk still hasn't been pierced.
For all the evidence that the sky is falling and that a reckoning is at hand, people seem in a pretty blasé mood about all this, with lots of assurances of, “Don't worry, Netflix will be fine.”
Let's put it another way — for most of the last decade, just about the entire industry threw away its financial model to chase a spending war based on magical thinking. For those who didn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, their shareholders were certainly plotting to smother the sleeping infant with a pillow, and the entire financial proposition of the industry was pegged to one metric: quarterly subscription numbers, which were expected to go up in perpetuity until every atom of sentient life in the galaxy was a paid subscriber. And then, onto selling subs in the multiverse!
That’s become the entire business, investment-wise, and when that comes crashing to earth, you don't get to just shrug that off and walk away with a simple, oops, my bad! There's a price to be paid.