Disney Splits Media And Entertainment Businesses To Accelerate DTC Strategy

Walt Disney Co. is reorganizing its media and entertainment businesses aiming to accelerate its direct-to-consumer or DTC strategy following the significant success of its streaming service Disney+.

Bob Chapek, Walt Disney Chief Executive Officer, said, “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 newly centralized 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.”

In a statement, the company stated that its media and entertainment businesses will be separated into creative engines, as well as Media and Entertainment Distribution Group that will focus on commercialization and distribution activities.

Media and Entertainment Distribution group will be responsible for all monetization of content, both distribution and ad sales. It will also oversee operations of the company’s streaming services, and will have sole P&L accountability for Disney’s media and entertainment businesses. The unit will be headed by Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing.

The new structure is effective immediately, and the company expects to transition to financial reporting under the new structure in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will continue to operate under its existing structure.

Under the new structure, the company’s creative engines will focus on developing and producing original content for the company’s streaming services, as well as for legacy platforms. The three content creation groups will be Studios Content, General Entertainment Content, and ESPN and Sports Content.

Studios Content 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 include the content engines of 20th Television, ABC Signature and Touchstone Television; ABC News; Disney Channels; Freeform; FX; and National Geographic.

Sports Content 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.

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