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Barry Diller says streaming services killed the movie business

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Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia Group Barry Diller walks to a morning session at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 07, 2021 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

IAC Chairman Barry Diller told NPR this week that the movie business, as it once operated when he led studios, is dead.

“These streaming services have been making something that they call ‘movies,'” Diller said in an interview with the media outlet at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference. “They ain’t movies. They are some weird algorithmic process that has created things that last 100 minutes or so.”

“The movie business as before is finished and will never come back,” he said. Diller once ran 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. Instead, he said, streaming services like Amazon Prime are created to sell people more things from Amazon.

Media companies have spent billions each year on content, in an effort to create exclusive shows and films that push users to subscribe to their services. Netflix (which Diller said in May already won the streaming wars) revealed last quarter it planned to spend more than $17 billion on content this year.

Most recently, AT&T announced a deal to combine its content unit WarnerMedia with Discovery to form a new media giant. The new media company could be worth well over $100 billion, and executives said the two companies already spend a combined $20 billion per year on content, including programming for their linear networks. 

“I used to be in the movie business where you made something really because you cared about it,” Diller said.

Read the full story from NPR here.


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