Disney reorganises media and entertainment biz, ramps up D2C strategy

The Walt Disney Company will be reorganising its media and entertainment businesses. According to a press release, this follows "tremendous success" achieved in the company’s direct-to-consumer business, and looks to further accelerate its direct-to-consumer strategy.

Under the new structure, Disney will focus on developing and producing original content for the company’s streaming services and legacy platforms, while distribution and commercialisation activities will be centralised into a single, global media and entertainment distribution group. The newly-created group will be responsible for all monetisation of content for both distribution and ad sales, and will oversee operations of Disney's streaming services. The media and entertainment distribution group will be headed by Kareem Daniel, who was formerly president, consumer products, games and publishing. Daniel will report to Disney's CEO Bob Chapek.

The new group will be responsible for all distribution, operations, sales, advertising, data and technology functions worldwide for all of Disney’s content engines. It will also work in close collaboration with the content creation teams on programming and marketing.

Meanwhile, the creation of content will be managed in three groups, namely studios, general entertainment, and sports. Disney parks, experiences and products will continue to operate under its existing structure. Bob Iger, in his role as executive chairman, will continue to direct the company’s creative endeavors. The new structure is effective immediately.

Chapek said this move comes as the company is "strategically positioning" itself to more effectively support its growth strategy and increase shareholder value, given Disney+'s success.

“Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it. Our creative teams will concentrate on what they do best: making world-class, franchise-based content—while our new global distribution team will focus on delivering and monetizing that content in the most optimal way across all platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and the coming Star international streaming service," he added.

In Disney's most recent financial report, Chapek said the company's global reach of its full portfolio of direct-to-consumer services exceeded 100 million paid subscriptions. He added that the company views its direct-to-consumer services as key to the future growth of the company.” While that is positive news for Disney, the report also showed that the net adverse impact of COVID-19 on its operating income in Q3 2020 across all of our businesses was approximately US$2.9 billion. The most significant impact in the current quarter from COVID-19 was an approximately US$3.5 billion adverse impact on operating income at its parks, experiences and products segment due to revenue lost as a result of the closures.

Earlier in June, Disney and FOX in Southeast Asia concluded their digital and social media pitch, and Marketing understands that Publicis Singapore has been appointed to handle duties across the region. Marketing also understands that the pitch process involved at least two other agencies and covers six markets across Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. 

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(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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