Count IAC (NSDQ: IACI) Chairman and CEO Barry Diller among those who believe the iPad will provide a real boost to the online media business. “I haven’t met a single person who has got one and doesn’t smile every time they use it,” he said during the company’s earnings call. “It’s a delightful experience. It’s going to change many, many things.” Specifically, Diller said that devices, such as the iPad, would provide a subscription-based revenue stream for “value-added content” online (He cited the Daily Beast as an example, although, for now, the Daily Beast‘s iPhone app is free).
“This is the first time on the internet that you essentially had a touch and go payment system for micropayments,” Diller said. “Consumers are getting used to this.”
Much of the call was focused on the stronger-than-expected performance of company’s search business, which posted a 20 percent increase in sales. While executives said they had seen substantial improvement in that business, they cautioned that the growth was not the “new normal” — and that sales increases this month had not matched first-quarter levels.
Diller also said there had been no change in the company’s approach to what is now its $1.5 billion in cash holdings. “Our policy is to return cash — most likely in the form of share purchases,” he said. “I don’t see anything in terms of acquisitions of … size. I can always say it can happen (but) I’m not really anticipating it.”