Barry Diller On Writers', Actors' Strike: Cut Netflix Out From Negotiations

Is the writers'/actors' strike really strengthening... Netflix? Media mogul Barry Diller thinks so. He spoke about the situation on the podcast “On With Kara Swisher.”

A longtime Hollywood studio executive at Fox, ABC Entertainment and Paramount, Diller believes the writers' and actors' strike provides room for Netflix to run up the score.

He believes other major studios should cut Netflix and other digital-first streamers -- including Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video --  out of the strike negotiations.

Those three digital media companies are well financially situated with diversified businesses and big-time profits.

Netflix, running more narrowly as a premium streaming business, is also profitable.

Legacy-owned, newer premium streaming businesses -- including Disney+, Peacock, Paramount and even Max -- are on the other side of the ledger. They need to play catch-up, and continue to find ways to cut losses.



Diller believes the two strikes -- which are entering their fourth month for writers and nearing the third for actors -- could wreak havoc on the business.

He believes giving digital-first streamers any sort of advantage in this process when it comes to collective bargaining in the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers group only helps those companies -- which seemingly can weather the strike storm much better.

In contrast to digital-first operations, many legacy big TV network-based companies are suffering as direct-to-consumer (D2C) losses continue to be a drag on other parts of their companies.

Legacy TV media producers have little choice but to go all in on streaming -- due to the accelerating decline in linear TV business.

If the strikes continue into the spring and summer of next year, the situation will get worse. At that point the lack of fresh content will be more obvious. This will severely impact their streaming businesses, which then would result in increased subscriber cancellation, lower revenues, and even harder out-of-reach plans for profitability.

Netflix, Apple TV+, and Amazon Prime Video could survive much better. In particular, this could be a benefit for Netflix.

If new TV series seem lacking in the streaming world, streaming TV households are projected to cut back on the number of streamers -- which is believed to be around 4 to 6 currently.

This might drop to just 2 to 3 streamers per household -- with Netflix, the still-dominant leader, maintaining as a must-have service.

So -- depending on the position in the field -- are we looking at a strike... out?

1 comment about "Barry Diller On Writers', Actors' Strike: Cut Netflix Out From Negotiations".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 8, 2023 at 12:28 p.m.

    This is a very tricky one to deal with. But it seems to me that you can't cut out some of the major players whether they are digital giants or not. I wonder if the issue can be resolved by negotiating a fee for the writers, actors, directors, etc. based on how many devices the programs are played on---in other words some form of "audience" metric---rather than the traditional way---based on how many times a TV network or cable channelor TV station presents the program to the public?

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