Exclusive: Mark Cuban on streaming, Netflix, Twitter and net neutrality

Mark Cuban: Net neutrality demonization of a few companies
Mark Cuban: Net neutrality demonizes a few companies   

Mark Cuban made his billions during the first Internet boom on a company called Broadcast.com, which was arguably ahead of its time: it was built to live-stream TV and radio content over the Internet.

Now that the media industry is booming with streaming-video options, in an exclusive interview at the Code/Media conference, Cuban took a bit of a victory lap: "The only surprise is what took so long. I think we always had an underlying principle back then that bits are bits and the only question was how are you going to originate them, how are you going to transport them, over what and how are people are going to consume them and now we're starting to get more options because bandwidth is plentiful and now because creating content has become so inexpensive."

With the proliferation of streaming options, Cuban says he believes in the power of premium content creators—pointing to Disney and CBS in particular as being in "great shape."

But of the digital options, he points to Netflix, which he's invested in: "Netflix knows how to aggregate [content] and now is evolving in the business of low-cost delivery of high-value content, and I don't think there's going to be a lot of room for competitors to them," said Cuban. "You can talk about HBOGo, you can talk about CBS, but again, that's just a repurposing. When it's all said and done, 98 percent of 99 percent of Netflix content, it's value was defined on traditional media. Other than 'House of Cards' and some of their originals, I don't think all that much has changed."

And to protect the future of streaming, Cuban is vehemently against net neutrality regulation. "I think net neutrality is the dumbest stuff ever. Really the base of net neutrality is not a technical argument, it's not a business argument, it's purely simply demonization of a couple of big companies," said Cuban.

"Because Comcast and their customer service is awful for cable they must suck, and they're going to ruin the Internet for everybody so let's come up with new rules and regulations that the FCC is going to enforce with a new set of commissioners every five years."

And Cuban warns that if net neutrality rules are enacted as proposed, we should expect a number of lawsuits.

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The Twitter Tweet Suite at CES 2015 in Las Vegas.
Mark Cuban: Twitter's got issues   

Another company Cuban weighed in on: Twitter, heaping on mixed praise.

"I think Twitter is a revenue goldmine. I think that is a reflection of the fact that people don't really understand Twitter anymore. I think It's become the new PR Newswire where it's more bullhorn than social network," said Cuban. "Twitter is here to stay. I'm a huge Twitter user because that bullhorn is very valuable, there's a place for being able to reach the world in 140 characters and I have said this before—it is the best search engine bar none to get current info."

And Cuban praised Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, saying: "He's done a "phenomenal job. He's pivoted while still having 250, 280 million users, and half a billion tweets a day."

Costolo noted the challenge of "trolls" on the service. Saying "Facebook went through the same problems and the response that Twitter's offering is very similar. Facebook says we're going to go mobile and we're going to counter everything by making more money. The dirty secret of Facebook is the initial core user base uses it as a refrigerator magnet, right? You post your pictures up there on Facebook, let Facebook subsidize all your bandwidth costs, all your pictures, they haven't done anything spectacular except get big. Twitter is working at getting bigger but they've done a spectacular job at monetizing."

But Cuban also stressed the need for alternatives to Twitter, such as his confidential messaging app—Cyber Dust—which self-destructs messages forever. He says it's a key alternative to traditional social networks, which are rife with negative commentary from what are called "trolls."

"What's happening right now is in social networks rather than being open, the opportunity to talk to one another, people are afraid to talk because, whether it's on Facebook, Twitter, because somebody's going to rip you for it."

Cuban explains that a need to avoid that negative commentary evolved Cyber Dust from an ephemeral messaging service to tools for people or publications—to communicate directly with their followers. "There are no trolls so you can engage one-on-one. [The communication] is in-line as opposed to timeline ... it's a lot more efficient."

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Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.