Diller talks on the cost of content

InterActive chief opens Media Summit

InterActiveCorp topper Barry Diller said the owner and operator of online brands such as Match.com, Ticketmaster and Ask.com would spend “a couple hundred million” over the next few years generating original content for the Web.

Diller, former head of Paramount Pictures and the Fox Television Network, opened Digital Hollywood’s Media Summit by reiterating his intent to get back into original content development — an effort spearheaded by Michael Jackson, president of programming and former chief of USA Networks.

“We think it’s the perfect time to invest. We’d buy something if something we saw was rational,” Diller said, “but valuations are crazy. There’s enormous froth out there.”

Diller said the company would start a comedic Web site in the vein of “The Onion” called 23/6 — a play on 24/7 — that he described as a “satirical turn on the day’s events.” Last August the company bought CollegeHumor.com, at the time described as the center of the company’s original content efforts.

CollegeHumor.com produces short video content targeting men 18-24 and may produce content for the new comedy news site. Vimeo, also owned by IAC, combines user-generated video with social networking.

Diller cast a jaundiced eye on the biggest distributor of video on the Web, YouTube, which was forced to remove 100,000 clips owned by Viacom.

Asked his opinion on the dispute, Diller said he would have taken a similar tack to Viacom’s. “I would have said, ‘Let me be clear with you. You are not going to take the stuff that we made in our house and control it for other people.’ “

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