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Barry Diller: Paywalls Will Work Eventually

First Posted: 06/18/10 06:44 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:50 PM ET

Barry Diller

Barry Diller told Bloomberg TV's Betty Liu that he believes people will pay for media content in the future, and that paywalls will work eventually.

"[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," Diller said. "That in these little form factors, first with the iPhone and now the iPad and dozens of other devices that will come, this is naturally going to evolve. It's got this legacy of this mythology. But it will end."

Diller said that the New York Times paywall will probably fail at first, but will ultimately succeed.

"I think [the New York Times will] succeed eventually, not this time around," he said. "This is going to be an evolution. It's going to take years for the pricing to get in line, for the form factors to get in line, for consumer habits to develop, for one click, one ease path of pricing, one completion of the order to happen. All this stuff is going to jumble around awkwardly for the next years."

Diller compared the evolution of the media business revenue model online to the music industry.

"Everyone said, no one will pay for music. It took seven or eight years for the iTunes concept...and now it's a multibillion business," he said. "People are paying for music, they could get it free, but they're paying for it....these are industries so to speak that are going to push 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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Filed by Lindsay Gellman  |