Media mogul Barry Diller believes the streaming media revolution has killed and buried the movie business, predicting that the industry as we know it “will never come back.”
He also dissed the quality of the movies being churned out by streaming services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
“These streaming services have been making something that they call ‘movies,’” Diller said. “They ain’t movies. They are some weird algorithmic process that has created things that last 100 minutes or so.”
The definition of “movie,” he said, “is in such transition that it doesn’t mean anything right now.”
Diller has a long history running Hollywood movie studios, having previously headed Paramount and 20th Century Fox.
“The movie business as before is finished and will never come back,” he added.
Hollywood is undergoing a seismic shift in how movies are released and consumed as the major studios launch their own digital streaming services and embrace so-called “day and date” releases — the simultaneous release of new titles in cinemas and on streaming.
Studios are feeling the heat from Netflix, Apple, and Amazon Prime Video — all of which are moving aggressively to produce original content and make strategic acquisitions. Amazon recently announced it will acquire MGM Studios in a deal estimated at $8.45 billion.
Diller doesn’t appear to be a fan of Amazon’s streaming video service.
“The system is not necessarily to please anybody,” he told NPR, implying Prime Video’s main objective is to get more customers to sign up for Amazon Prime. “It is to buy more Amazon stuff. That’s not a terrible thing. It just doesn’t interest me.”
He also criticized Quibi, the short-lived streaming venture from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman.
“It was a bad idea that had no testing ground other than a big-scale investment,” Diller said. “Otherwise, it would have slithered around for a while. But it was such a big-scale thing that it lived and died in a millisecond.”