‘Tremendous’ Disney+ sees House of Mouse pivot to streaming | Major Businesses | Business
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Even though the direct-to-consumer product was launched less than a year ago, the massive uptake of the Disney+ product has promoted a massive corporate restructuring at the Walt Disney Company as a whole.
disney plus logo 13oct2020

Disney+ launched in the US, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands in November 2019 making a massive impact on the market driven mainly by its massive suite of original content in particular Star Wars-based drama the Mandalorian which only weeks after intro duction became the most demanded series ever. The service made its European debut on 24 March 2020 in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland with as many as 5 million downloads across the seven new markets in just two days.

As it was announcing that the service had launched in eight further territories in September 2020 - Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Belgium and Luxembourg – Disney revealed that downloads had surpassed the 60.5 million mark.

With the momentum for streaming shows no sign of stopping, unlike other parts of its business which have been badly hit by Covid-19, the Walt Disney Company has announced a strategic reorganisation of its media and entertainment businesses. The new structure designed to further accelerate the company’s direct-to-consumer strategy, in light of the rapid success of Disney+.

Under the new structure, Disney’s creative engines will focus on developing and producing original content for the streaming services, as well as for legacy platforms. The company’s three content groups will be responsible and accountable for producing and delivering content for theatrical, linear and streaming, with the primary focus being streaming services. The creation of content will be managed in three distinct groups—Studios, General Entertainment and Sports.

The Studio division will focus on creating branded theatrical and episodic content based on the leading franchises for theatrical exhibition, Disney+ and the Company’s other streaming services. The group will include the content engines of The Walt Disney Studios, including Disney live action and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures.

General entertainment content will focus on creating general entertainment episodic and original long-form content for the Company’s streaming platforms and its cable and broadcast networks. The group will include 20th Television, ABC Signature and Touchstone Television; ABC News; Disney Channels; Freeform; FX; and National Geographic. Sports will focus on ESPN’s live sports programming, as well as sports news and original and non-scripted sports-related content, for the cable channels, ESPN+, and ABC.

The new Media and Entertainment Distribution group will be responsible for the P&L management and all distribution, operations, sales, advertising, data and technology functions worldwide for all of the company’s content engines, and it will also manage operations of the company’s streaming services and domestic television networks. The group will work in close collaboration with the content creation teams on programming and marketing.

“Given the incredible success of Disney+ and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-consumer business, we are strategically positioning our company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value,” said Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek explaining the move.

“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 newly centralised global distribution team will focus on delivering and monetising that content in the most optimal way across all platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and the coming Star international streaming service.”