Streaming Wars: Warner Bros. gets hit by CAA and DGA

As a consumer, there is nothing more wonderful than choice. In a groundbreaking, world-changing announcement earlier this week, Warner Bros. announced that its entire 2021 slate of theatrical motion picture releases would be available on HBO Max the day they are released in theaters. This is awesome!!! Unless you live and work in the motion picture industry. Then, not so much.

CAA (one of Hollywood’s most powerful talent agencies) and the Directors Guild of America both sent letters to WB threatening to use every legal means to protect the rights of their respective clients and members.

To be fair, WB should have consulted with profit participants before making the decision to change everything everyone knows about Hollywood… but that’s what contracts are for. I’m sure the lawyers will work out who is supposed to get paid and how much.

But — and this is a bigger but — we’ve experienced something like 10 years of social innovation in the past 10 months. Everything is different. We are all living differently, and our relationship with our technology has changed. Streaming is now a way of life. Cords have been cut, bandwidth has been purchased, and we sit in front of (or hold) high-powered, high resolution screens all day, every day.

WB may not have done this politely, but day and date distribution is not the future. It’s now.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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