Media Summit: Diller Down on YouTube

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InterActiveCorp. CEO Barry Diller had sharp words for YouTube at Media Summit in New York this morning. In a casual hour-long Q&A with Business Week executive editor John Byrne, Diller sided with Viacom on the media giant’s demand last week that YouTube pull down all Viacom clips from its site.

“What’s happened is that media companies have said, ‘We’re not gonna let you get so strong in distribution,’” he said, likening it to HBO’s dominance in acquiring movies for cable decades ago. “It’s smart for Viacom, who said, ‘Let me be really clear—you’re not gonna take stuff that I made, then massage it and control it for other people.’”

While acknowledging that YouTube rules the user-generated video space, Diller said that wouldn’t be for long. “Those tools are going to be everywhere,” he said. “It’s not going to be one place to go.”

Diller, whose company posted an 85% drop in net income yesterday, was bullish on IAC properties, and, while making a case for a Home Shopping Network rebound. “We took our eye off the daily business and made a series of merchandising mistakes,” he said of HSN. “There’s a little turnaround, but these things don’t turn on a flash.”

When Byrne pointed out that Diller, the former head of Fox and Paramount Pictures, was back in the programming game with, Diller responded, “I never left it.”