Barry Diller on Thursday smashed the growing efforts of streaming services to deliver movies to their platforms, saying “the definition of movies is in such a transition, it means nothing more.” He made the remarks to NPR on the sidelines of Allen & Co. mogul retreat in Sun Valley, Idaho.
“These streaming services have created something they call ‘movies,'” he said. “They are not movies. They are a strange algorithmic process that has created things that last about 100 minutes, ”Diller told NPR.
The one-time boss of Paramount and 20th Century Fox (now part of Disney), who later moved aggressively into the dotcom era with his holding company IAC / InterActive Corp., said he appreciates the key role that streaming played under Covid-1
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“The film industry as before is finished and will never come back,” said the always quoted and highly perceived executive. He recalled that time, energy and money studies are used to invest in distribution and advertising to create lasting excitement and enthusiasm for new films. “It’s done,” he said, because the way companies measure success has changed.
He noted – like others – that Amazon’s acquisition of MGM for 8.45 billion. Dollars in May were primarily a way to drive subscriptions to Amazon Prime.
“I used to be in the movie business where you did something real because you were interested in it,” Diller said.
Certainly, windows have been shortened, and theatrical publishing business has been changed by the pandemic and by an army of deep-pocketed streaming services like Disney +, HBO Max and Peacock in fields already populated by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. But it is far from clear what the landscape or industrial economy will look like when the pandemic is behind us and the dust settles.
Media and technology moguls began gathering Tuesday for the screened woody mountain conference, which features outdoor sessions and required vaccines, and for the first time, attendees to leave their children at home.
The decades-old tradition of the boutique investment bank Allen & Co. gives titans of the industry alone time over beer and in whitewater fleets between sessions. It is credited for being the breeding ground for a number of great deals. And it is closed to the press, even though journalists are staying around the area in hopes of grabbing a minute or an offer.
David Zaslav shared some thoughts with CNBC on Day 1 about wanting to make even more deals once the proposed merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia is completed. Shari Redstone, Brian Roberts, Bob Chapek, Bob Iger and Jeff Shell are there. The same goes for Tim Cook and Eddy Cue, Mark Zuckerberg (in flip-flops according to the Daily Mail) and Sheryl Sandberg, Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy and dozens of others.