Now, it seems Disney+ and Disney’s other streaming options will play an even bigger role in the Walt Disney Company overall.
The Walt Disney Company has announced a major restructuring of its entertainment and media divisions. Under the new structure, the Company’s three content groups will be responsible for producing and delivering new content “with the primary focus being the Company’s streaming services.”
According to CNBC, As of August, Disney has 100 million paid subscribers across its streaming platforms. More than half of those individuals are subscribers to Disney+. One of Disney’s largest shareholders has actually called on Disney CEO Bob Chapek to end Disney’s annual divided and divert more capital to more new Disney+ content.
Under this new structure, Disney’s “creative engines” will focus on developing new content for Disney’s streaming services and legacy platforms, while “distribution and commercialization activities will be centralized into a single, global Media and Entertainment Distribution organization.” Kareem Daniel, who was formerly the president of games and publishing in Disney’s Consumer Products division, will oversee the new media and entertainment distribution group.
The new Media and Entertainment Distribution Group will be responsible for the monetization of Disney’s content, in terms of distribution and ad sales, and will oversee the operation of Disney’s streaming services. CNBC notes that Disney is becoming more reliant on Disney+ because movie theaters have not been able to recover after the extensive closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mulan was initially released direct to Disney+ through Premier Access (instead of in the theaters), and Pixar’s Soul, despite original plans to be released in theaters, will be streaming exclusively on Disney+ in December.
Here are a few more updates on executive positions related to the reorganizations. The creation of content will be handled by three separate groups — Studios, General Entertainment, and Sports.
- Alan Horn and Alan Bergman will serve as the Chairmen of Studios Content. The Walt Disney Studios (including live action and animation), Marvel Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures all fall under their control. The Studios segment will focus on creating new content to be released in theatres, on Disney+, and on Disney’s other streaming services;
- Peter Rice will serve as the Chairman of General Entertainment Content. This group will focus on making content for Disney’s streaming platforms and cable and broadcast networks. The General Entertainment Content group includes 20th Television, ABC Signature and Touchstone Television, ABC News, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic;
- James Pitaro will serve as the Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content. This group will focus on live sports programming, sports news, and non-scripted and original sports-related content for the cable channels, ESPN+, and ABC.
Josh D’Amaro will remain the head of Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products Division, and Rebecca Campbell will serve as the chairman of International Operations and Direct-to-Consumer.
Campbell will report to Bob Chapek directly for anything related to international operations, but she will now report to Kareem Daniel for all matters related to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Daniel’s new group will manage all of the distribution, operations, sales, and advertising for the Disney Studios, General Entertainment, and Sports content groups.
Bob Chapek noted that “Given the incredible success of Disney+ and [their] plans to accelerate [their] direct-to-consumer business” they are “strategically positioning” the Company to “more effectively support [their growth] strategy. Chapek also noted that managing the “content creation distinct from distribution will allow [Disney] to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it.”
The reorganization changes are all effective immediately. Disney also announced that it will be holding a virtual investor day on December 10th. So, it seems streaming will truly become a key aspect of Disney’s business. We can’t wait to see what new and exciting shows and movies we’re able to stream in the future. We’re on the lookout for more Disney news, so be sure to come back for more updates.
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