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article imageBarry Diller: Free media content will end, NYT pay wall will work

By Andrew Moran     Jun 19, 2010 in Business
New York - Former USA Network and Fox Broadcasting Company executive, Barry Diller recently spoke with Bloomberg Television about the business side of the media's future, which he feels quite optimistic about.
In January, Digital Journal reported that the New York Times announced that they will begin to charge online readers in 2011. The historical news publication will use a metered system, which will charge readers after they have viewed a certain amount of free content in a month.
Barry Diller, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp and the media executive responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company and USA Broadcasting, sat down with Bloomberg Television to discuss the future of media, the costs that will incur and the New York Times’ upcoming latest business move.
"[Free content] will end because now so many people are used to paying for applications, whether they pay 99 cents or whether they pay for a tune, or they pay 99 cents to play Solitaire, or $4.95 to do this or $2.95 to do that, or one kind of one stop, very simple to do.”
One of the men responsible for beginning the hit cartoon “The Simpsons” explained that he is just thrilled with what the New York Times is doing because now a lot of the executives in the media are “beginning to push” because “that's part of the inevitability and it's part of the evolution.”
Will the New York Times business model succeed? Diller thinks so, but warned that it will take for the consumer to adapt to the pricing and to form habits, “All this stuff is going to jumble around awkwardly for the next years.”
Diller then provides an example of an industry that adapted a business model that succeeded after many people thought it wouldn’t: the music business. He cites that everyone was stealing music and doubted that anyone would ever pay for music again but low and behold the concept of iTunes began, which is now a multi-billion dollar business.
“People are paying for music, they could get it free, but they're paying for it."
In the end, the charging for content model will work because industries are going to say “our content is, we think it’s valuable at this. Steve Jobs did this in music. He said music is for 99 cents and he changed everything. Because he said I'm going to price it so low, that everyone is going to adopt it. So the same will happen.”
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