Apple can try to compete with Netflix for video streaming subscribers, but Barry Diller says Apple and others are “fools” to chase Netflix.
Diller, a studio executive turned tech entrepreneur, does not see any company gaining the number of subscribers as Netflix, which began building a base by sending DVDs of choice movies by mail.
In a far-ranging conversation where he called Hollywood “irrelevant,” Diller provided unvarnished answers for Recode editor-at-large Kara Swisher on her podcast Recode Decode.
Barry Diller is not impressed
Diller was talking about the streaming models of both Netflix and Amazon when Swisher reminded him of Apple’s push into the market.
Apple has been signing producers, directors, and actors to create original content for a streaming service it is expected to roll out in April. Analysts say Apple will have spent more than $4 billion on original content by 2022.
Diller is chairman of InterActiveCorp.(IAC), a parent company to apps and other internet services such as Match.com and Vimeo. He is a former CEO of Paramount Pictures Corp. and of Fox, Inc.
Below, is an excerpt of his conversation with Swisher.
Swisher: “So where does that lead, because Apple is now moving very heavily into it after …”
Diller: “Well I wouldn’t say they’re heavily yet.”
Swisher: “Not heavily, but more. There’s money.”
Diller: “Well, they’re prancing around. They have their little feet in it. They’ve hired some people. They’re spending some money, but they do not have at least yet, although they’re going to announce something I think very soon or start their streaming service.
“They’ll get some subscribers. But to chase … Netflix has won this game. I mean, short of some existential event, it is Netflix’s. No one can get, I believe, to their level of subscribers, which gives them real dominance.”
Diller added that Amazon Prime would be more competitive because of the rewards it offers to subscribers.