From video-on-demand to video-on-the-go and from iPods to High Definition televisions, we are living through a revolution in the way entertainment is delivered to the public. Equity's Television is Changing campaign is designed to inform our members about the implications of this revolution for their work and to keep them informed about what we're doing to protect their rights in a new era.
Multi-channel television is already a reality in eighty percent of British homes. Downloading programmes via the Internet, mobile phones and personal video players is common place.
The era when a handful of schedulers decided what the nation would gather together to watch has gone. The overall audience for television is falling, the viewer share of the flagship terrestrial channels is in decline, the audience is fragmenting.
New technologies are likely to take existing trends even further. As viewers expect more choice and greater freedom about when and where they access entertainment, the television industry is bound to change irrevocably.
Changes in how television programmes are distributed are likely to impact on how everyone in the industry works and how they are paid. Television is Changing aims to give you the information you need to make decisions about how you think things should be organised in the future and contribute to our negotiations with broadcasters and producers as we seek to ensure that you continue to receive a fair reward for your work.
Everything is up for grabs. The new media environment is unlikely to be able to support the existing residuals system across every channel, royalty payments are likely to become more important as downloading of content becomes more common and payment via collective licences are likely to be used to cover a growing number of secondary uses of broadcast material.
Putting in place agreements that preserve performers' status and their income is likely to be the most important challenge Equity faces in the coming years. If we are to succeed, we need our members to get involved, to tell us what they want and to contribute their ideas. Television is Changing is designed to give you that opportunity.
This website should give you access to everything you need to get started.
The next few pages set out an introduction to the basic issues raised by the changes that are happening in television today. They give a flavour of the background to the current changes and their likely implications.
On the news pages you can keep up to date with Equity's work and the latest developments in our negotiations with employers.
For those of you seeking more information, this website provides access to a full range of publications, factsheets and briefing documents that, we hope, will help you get to grips with the major issues facing performers in the digital era.
But this is not meant to be a one way process. We want you to contribute too. Please take the time to complete our questionnaire or to provide us with feedback and suggestions on what you think Equity should be doing and how we might improve the campaign.