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Published on February 19th, 2019 | by Brad Gibson

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Veteran film & TV CEO Barry Diller to Apple: You’re “fools” for challenging Netflix

One-time film and television CEO Barry Diller thinks Apple, and anyone else trying to compete with Netflix in the streaming entertainment space, are making a big mistake calling Apple executives “fools” for launching their own content service.

In a recent podcast interview with Recode journalist Kara Swisher, the former media executive with Fox, ABC, and Paramount said, “Hollywood is now irrelevant,” and Netflix is too far ahead for competitors to impact their dominance.

“Netflix has won this game,” he said. “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 all but laughed off Apple’s plans for its own streaming video service. 

He said Apple executives were “prancing around” in streaming video and “have their little feet in it.” He added, “Everybody is going to play in this, but I think that those who chase Netflix are fools. Or try to compete with Amazon Prime, because I don’t think there’s any ability for anybody in the, let’s call it the…the media business, the entertainment business, who do so.”

Diller was more positive on the chance for success of the Disney+ streaming service, scheduled to launch in 2020.

“Disney has good programming,” he said. “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 also had a lot to say about Amazon Prime Video and how Hollywood executives were caught off guard by their business model.

“Amazon’s business model has nothing to do with anything anybody who’s been in the entertainment business has lived with their whole lives, which is, we have one job. We entertain the folks,” he commented. “If they like what we do, they buy a ticket or subscribe to this or get that. Amazon’s model is saying, ‘If you join Prime, we’re giving you things.’ … “That model, to people in the entertainment business, is like, ‘Oh my god, how did that happen? I don’t know how to do that one. I don’t know how. I only know how to serve my entertainment customer.'”

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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