News The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors Extends Robert A. Iger’s Contract as CEO Through 2026

rio

Well-Known Member
The race to develop streaming started at linear/BO. That was a known business to the studios, investors, and the public. But streaming generates a LOT more data than the old model ever did, and has much more potential for deeper integration and interaction with audiences. Some streaming platforms won’t be able to keep up with where streaming is heading. Disney is taking this seriously.
We've been in the world of "Big Data" for 13+ years now. I haven't seen how it's made any meaningful difference in company direction, consumer preferences, etc. You don't need a million data points to find out someone is a star wars fan and a star wars fan doesn't always appreciate a movie made from a million summaries from a trillion views unless that movie is being made by AI. Big Data also didn't help lower wait times at Disney World attractions or distribute guests to lower desired Disney World attractions more than Fastpass did.
 

HauntedPirate

Park nostalgist
Premium Member
How many Disney BluRay discs can one purchase for the price of an annual ad-free Disney+ subscription? Asking for a friend.

At some point, people are going to figure out that the bulk of the streaming content is already available offline and there's little reason, other than convenience/instant gratification, to have an annual subscription to any streaming platform. But I'm sure that's just "old thinking".
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
The wonderful thing about streaming is the viewing analytics. You keep on drawing equivalencies audience interaction trends between user generated content and studio created content, but these are apples and oranges comparisons, regardless of how well DTC providers can try to keep up.
I’m not drawing equivalencies between them, I’m saying that in the streaming paradigm, they’re all part of the same digital entertainment ecosystem.
There is no way that studio produced content can be a nimble and responsive to wide swaths of audiences as user generated content. This content is is often hyper focused on specific areas of interest. It's a fallacy to think that major DTC can leverage this ability.
Disney doesn’t have to be as nimble as hyper-focused vloggers and YouTube channels. Disney’s content is the core around which these things are centered. These deeper fandoms are loyal and spend more than general audiences. Right now, fan channels like New Rockstars or Heavy Spoilers live off of Disney. Disney is looking to integrate the experience because there’s tons of money to be had.
You have studios right now producing content that will rarely achieve the level of audience interaction desired. Those that do find themselves ahead of the culture curve, soon often find themselves not being able to keep up and fall behind. (Mandolin S3, Witcher Season 3/4, Loki S2, etc.). Sometimes you have content that rebounds (Picard S3) but that is the exception.
Again, seems like you’re not thinking big enough picture. The Marvels cost Disney $270M to make. It may end up generating only $150M in its box office run. But if you add up all the revenue on all the merchandise, PR (positive and negative), D+ subscriptions (people who want to watch/revisit Captain Marvel, WandaVision, and Ms. Marvel to see what all the fuss is about), PLUS all the revenue-generating fan content (YouTube channels, Insta-influencers, fan sites like this one that all make money through subs, ads, merch sales and tips), we’re talking about billions in value to be leveraged. The movie itself becomes something of a loss leader.

Now apply that by every niche series, film, park, and IP Disney owns, combine it with realtime data/analytics, and you start to get an idea of how much money is in streaming.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
How many Disney BluRay discs can one purchase for the price of an annual ad-free Disney+ subscription? Asking for a friend.

At some point, people are going to figure out that the bulk of the streaming content is already available offline and there's little reason, other than convenience/instant gratification, to have an annual subscription to any streaming platform. But I'm sure that's just "old thinking".
How do you play a Blu-Ray disc on an iPhone?
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
We've been in the world of "Big Data" for 13+ years now. I haven't seen how it's made any meaningful difference in company direction, consumer preferences, etc.
I think you underestimate the extent to which data has driven the company over the years.
You don't need a million data points to find out someone is a star wars fan and a star wars fan doesn't always appreciate a movie made from a million summaries from a trillion views unless that movie is being made by AI.
Not sure how AI factors in, but Disney used to treat fan groups more or less as monolithic entities. Data revealed just how diverse the fandom was, and what sub-sets of content resonate with different sub-sets of the content.
Big Data also didn't help lower wait times at Disney World attractions or distribute guests to lower desired Disney World attractions more than Fastpass did.
Tech/data certainly could do these things, if they were goals for Disney. They aren’t.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
Maybe, I’m not exactly sure how it works technically. The difference is you own it.
Yes, if you purchase a Blu-Ray disk, you own that disk. But the the "digital copy" of that (which is essentially streaming/download) you'd watch on mobile isn't guaranteed:

"Does the unique code for the Disney Digital Movie expire?
Yes. Digital Movie codes are subject to expiration. Please check your movie packaging or Contact Us for further details."

 

flynnibus

Premium Member
There is no way that studio produced content can be a nimble and responsive to wide swaths of audiences as user generated content. This content is is often hyper focused on specific areas of interest. It's a fallacy to think that major DTC can leverage this ability.
I guess you missed when that user generated content with hyper focused areas were signed onto networks like twitch and youtube in major deals to bring that content exclusivity to their platform?
 

JD80

Well-Known Member
I guess you missed when that user generated content with hyper focused areas were signed onto networks like twitch and youtube in major deals to bring that content exclusivity to their platform?

I'd be surprised if Disney tried to go in the direction with a consumer based social media platform and earn Ad dollars that way. Only caveat to that statement is if they though it would be profitable if the went the Apple direction where access to your marketplace is very limited and has a high barrier of entry.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
I'd be surprised if Disney tried to go in the direction with a consumer based social media platform and earn Ad dollars that way. Only caveat to that statement is if they though it would be profitable if the went the Apple direction where access to your marketplace is very limited and has a high barrier of entry.
I don't think they would - it was just a comment to this idea that somehow networks can never tap into the power that user generated content created. It's already been debunked and leveraged for the networks.

The big 'user generated content' folks are practically independent production companies themselves... blowing through millions to generate content. They will start sellling themselves to people like Disney, Paramount, etc... just like South Park did.

I think the biggest difference between the youtube world today and the studios streaming platforms is the commercialism. Youtube is full on ad/sponsor city... where content networks today used ad-free as a way to lure people away from linear TV. Once that transition is further behind us, 'ad free' is going to die except for as some premium experience.

The thing that makes youtube work is all the ad money. Transitioning to ads successfully is what has made or broke most offers. That's the next frontier for the DTC folks like Disney.
 

HauntedPirate

Park nostalgist
Premium Member
Yes, if you purchase a Blu-Ray disk, you own that disk. But the the "digital copy" of that (which is essentially streaming/download) you'd watch on mobile isn't guaranteed:



As opposed to streaming services which can remove content and you get, at most, a month's notice and then you are left with no ability to watch?

The link you attached is also not applicable to what is being discussed. That has to do with the codes in the package to add the content to your account, not the content itself. Which is a bit nefarious, but that's not something new.
 

monothingie

❤️Bob4Eva❤️
Premium Member
I’m not drawing equivalencies between them, I’m saying that in the streaming paradigm, they’re all part of the same digital entertainment ecosystem.
The only commonality they share is that they both exist on the Internet and they stream. Their business models are completely different.
Disney doesn’t have to be as nimble as hyper-focused vloggers and YouTube channels. Disney’s content is the core around which these things are centered. These deeper fandoms are loyal and spend more than general audiences. Right now, fan channels like New Rockstars or Heavy Spoilers live off of Disney. Disney is looking to integrate the experience because there’s tons of money to be had.
Except, with very only a couple of exceptions (baby Yoda),the integration with segments such as merchandise, leisure travel, etc. have not succeeded. This may change over time, but the need to book a trip to WDW and experience GOTG at Epcot because someone saw the last movie is not a reality.
Again, seems like you’re not thinking big enough picture. The Marvels cost Disney $270M to make. It may end up generating only $150M in its box office run. But if you add up all the revenue on all the merchandise, PR (positive and negative), D+ subscriptions (people who want to watch/revisit Captain Marvel, WandaVision, and Ms. Marvel to see what all the fuss is about), PLUS all the revenue-generating fan content (YouTube channels, Insta-influencers, fan sites like this one that all make money through subs, ads, merch sales and tips), we’re talking about billions in value to be leveraged. The movie itself becomes something of a loss leader.
You sound like a someone making a sales pitch. The problem for your position is that none of what you're describing has happened. D+ Subscriptions are flat, merchandise sales for the latest Pixar, Disney Animation, MCU, and Star Wars releases are non-existent or flopped. The failure is compounded by the fact that everything coming out of Disney has a $200M+ price tag on it.

Using The Marvels, add another $150M for marketing and you need this film to bring in $800M gross at the Box office to break even. It won't even make a 1/4 of that at the Box office, how can you reasonably expect merch, Streaming, or whatever to make up that difference? We can do the same for Indy 5, that film needed to make $1B just to break even. Elemental needed $750M, Lighyear needed $600M, Antman needed $750M. All tentpole franchises that under no circumstances could deliver the necessary return even if every possible piece of segment integration was firing perfectly.

Want to do DTC original content? Ms. Marvel, She Hulk, Andor, Secret Invasion, Ashoka, and Loki all had budgets well over $200M, do you think Disney got the return on that they were expecting considering they were amongst the lowest rated D+ originals ever?
Now apply that by every niche series, film, park, and IP Disney owns, combine it with realtime data/analytics, and you start to get an idea of how much money is in streaming.
On paper it sounds like a surefire winner. In reality it has been a failure because the level of segment integration is a pipe dream. Disney certainly has not helped this by completely bungling so much in their different divisions which "should" have been capitalizing on this, but are not capable of or don't know how to do it.
 
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_caleb

Well-Known Member
The only commonality they share is that they both exist on the Internet and they stream. Their business models are completely different.
As opposed to streaming services which can remove content and you get, at most, a month's notice and then you are left with no ability to watch?

The link you attached is also not applicable to what is being discussed. That has to do with the codes in the package to add the content to your account, not the content itself. Which is a bit nefarious, but that's not something new.
You guys are being weird. They are the same technology and concept. With Blu-Ray, you own the disk (forever!) and get (temporary) access to the content digitally (streaming, also temporary). On D+, you just get I'm not saying it's great, I'm saying that "buy the blu-ray" is old-model thinking with limitations (like the ability to watch on mobile devices). Steaming overcomes this limitation, and physical media is not the future of the business.
Except, with very only a couple of exceptions (baby Yoda),the integration with segments such as merchandise, leisure travel, etc. have not succeeded. This may change over time, but the need to book a trip to WDW and experience GOTG at Epcot because someone saw the last movie is not a reality.
They've only just begun to make these changes. Very few limited wins as of yet, and pressure on them to get to profitability is huge. Totally agree, though, I don't think movies/series will drive people to the parks until they do a LOT more work.
You sound like a someone making a sales pitch. The problem for your position is that none of what you're describing has happened. D+ Subscriptions are flat, merchandise sales for the latest Pixar, Disney Animation, MCU, and Star Wars releases are non-existent or flopped. The failure is compounded by the fact that everything coming out of Disney has a $200M+ price tag on it.
I'm not selling anything. I'm excited to see the changes. And what I'm describing is happening, just more slowly than we might hope. Disney doesn't have unlimited amounts of money or goodwill, but if they move too quickly, they risk losing their audiences. You keep talking about $200M being too much, and I've agreed that it's too much. Why keep bringing it up?
Using The Marvels, add another $150M for marketing and you need this film to bring in $800M gross at the Box office to break even. It won't even make a 1/4 of that at the Box office, how can you reasonably expect merch, Streaming, or whatever to make up that difference?

We can do the same for Indy 5, that film needed to make $1B just to break even. Elemental needed $750M, Lighyear needed $600M, Antman needed $750M. All tentpole franchises that under no circumstances could deliver the necessary return even if every possible piece of segment integration was firing perfectly.
That only matters if you're looking at this one film and only during some arbitrary window of time. The Marvels is just a (demonstrably weak performing) part of that huge enterprise made up of many films, series, merch, experiences, fan content, etc. And the content all adds up to more than the old model "total box office – production + marketing = profit/loss." I expect Disney is looking at the bigger picture here.
Want to do DTC original content? Ms. Marvel, She Hulk, Andor, Secret Invasion, Ashoka, and Loki all had budgets well over $200M, do you think Disney got the return on that they were expecting considering they were amongst the lowest rated D+ originals ever?
I'm sure they hoped for more. They always do. And there will probably never be straightforward way to calculate how much a single movie served to drive subscriptions. But now that Disney is streaming, those things can have very long tails. They can revive older content with a recommendation, reboot/remake, when the data says it would pay off. They can license out to linear anything that isn't being watched.
On paper it sounds like a surefire winner. In reality it has been a failure because the level of segment integration is a pipe dream. Disney certainly has not helped this by completely bungling so much in their different divisions which "should" have been capitalizing on this, but are not capable of or don't know how to do it.
But it's not been a failure. They're in the midst of a huge pivot of their entire business. The pandemic helped in some ways, but the economy and social divisions have really slowed them down and made things much more complicated. They've always said that the target for profitability is next year. For years, they've been laying the groundwork, testing, building fandoms and acquiring streaming/data tech. At launch, they spent big and put everything on D+ to get the subscriber base (which they've succeeded at). Now (moving forward), they've added ad-tier, they're raising prices, cutting costs (not enough yet), slowing production, and sorting out content channels (hotstar, Hulu, etc.). Next, I think we'll see them lean further into integration and deep audience interaction.

Will they succeed? Who knows? As a fan, I think it's fun to watch them try.
 

freediverdude

Well-Known Member


Robert A. Iger has extended his reign at Disney through 2026, as finding an heir continues to be difficult and questions mount about the viability of the company’s vaunted movie studios and theme parks.​
The Walt Disney Company said on Wednesday that Mr. Iger, 72, will remain chief executive for two years beyond his previously announced re-retirement date. Mr. Iger reluctantly ended his first run at Disney in 2021, handing the company’s top job to Bob Chapek, a former theme park executive. Mr. Chapek was fired in November, and Mr. Iger made a triumphant return as chief executive.​
At the time, Disney said Mr. Iger had been asked “to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the board in developing a successor to lead the company at the completion of his term.” Mr. Iger repeatedly said that he would retire for good when his contract was up at the end of 2024.​
“My plan is to stay here for two years,” Mr. Iger told CNBC in November. “That was my agreement with the board, and that is my preference.”​
But many people in Hollywood were skeptical. During his first tenure as chief executive, from 2005 to 2020, Mr. Iger delayed his departure at least three times. (He continued as Disney’s executive chairman for a year after stepping down as chief executive.)​
“Because I want to ensure Disney is strongly positioned when my successor takes the helm, I have agreed to the board’s request to remain C.E.O. for an additional two years,” Mr. Iger said in a statement on Wednesday.​
“The importance of the succession process cannot be overstated," he added, “and as the board continues to evaluate a highly qualified slate of internal and external candidates, I remain intensely focused on a successful transition.”​
In the months since Mr. Iger has been back at Disney, he has moved quickly to cut costs — some $5.5 billion, in part by eliminating 7,000 jobs, including at Pixar and ESPN — and push Disney’s streaming operation toward profitability. He also won a proxy battle with the activist investor Nelson Peltz, one turning in part on Disney’s poor track record of succession planning. Mr. Peltz declined to comment on Wednesday.​
But a successor has yet to be identified. The board has been looking at candidates inside and outside the company, Disney has said. Mr. Iger brought a trio of executives with him to this week’s Allen & Company Sun Valley media conference, the annual “billionaires’ summer camp,” and all are viewed as succession possibilities: Dana Walden, a co-chairman of Disney Entertainment; her counterpart, Alan Bergman; and Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.​
A spokeswoman for Mr. Iger said he was unavailable for an interview.​
In recent months, as Disney’s troubles have increased, senior executives have privately pressed Mr. Iger to renew. In its statement on Wednesday, Disney took pains to point out that it was the board, not Mr. Iger, that pushed for an extension. Given his serial contract renewals, a narrative has formed in Hollywood, rightly or wrongly, that he is reluctant to step away from power. “The board determined it is in the best interest of shareholders to extend his tenure, and he has agreed to our request,” Mark G. Parker, chairman of the Disney board, said in the statement, adding that Mr. Iger had already “set Disney on the right strategic path for ongoing value creation.”​
Disney shares have been trading at about $90, down 3 percent from a year ago and 54 percent from their peak in March 2021. Following the news of Mr. Iger’s extension, shares remained largely flat in after-hours trading.​
The challenge is that, in addition to succession, Disney is dealing with problems on almost every front, including new questions about its movie studios, given disappointing results at the summer box office for “Elemental,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and, to a lesser extent, “The Little Mermaid.” Disney has been maneuvering to buy full control of Hulu, but such a purchase would be expensive, and Disney is loaded with roughly $45 billion in debt, partly because of the pandemic.​
In the meantime, Disney’s earnings engine for the last 30 years — traditional television, including ESPN — has become a shadow of its former self, the result of cord cutting, advertising weakness and rising sports programming costs. Mr. Iger is betting that streaming services will return the company to growth. But Disney+ has been shedding subscribers, and a broader streaming division remains unprofitable, losing nearly $2 billion since the start of the fiscal year.​
Disney is also contending with a lingering screenwriters’ strike; and contract negotiations between studios and SAG-AFTRA, the guild that represents about 160,000 actors, have been going poorly and could result in a strike as early as Thursday.​
Unlike most of its rival media conglomerates, Disney can rely on its theme park business for profit and growth — unless a recession hits. Lately, attendance at the company’s largest property, Disney World in Florida, has appeared to weaken as part of a broader decline in tourism to Florida. (Universal Studios has also seen softness, according to analysts.)
Disney has been embroiled in a public standoff with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida over control of government services at Disney World. Dueling lawsuits are making their way through federal and state courts, and Mr. DeSantis has been harshly critical of Disney as a “woke” corporation while campaigning for president.​
In an email to employees on Wednesday, Mr. Iger acknowledged the company’s many challenges.​
“There is more to accomplish before this transformative work is complete, and I am committed to seeing this through,” he said. “As I’ve said many times since we began this important transformation of the company, our progress will not be linear as we continue navigating a difficult economic environment and the tectonic shifts occurring in our industry.”​
Brooks Barnes is a media and entertainment reporter, covering all things Hollywood. He joined The Times in 2007 as a business reporter focused primarily on the Walt Disney Company. He previously worked for The Wall Street Journal. More about Brooks Barnes
Interesting that they are renewing Iger's contract, when he's about the same age as when they ousted Roy Jr., claiming he was too old to be on the board, and that they had an age rule.
 

MrPromey

Well-Known Member
The major problem is that subscriptions have plateaued and a large chunk are likely non retail subscribers (wholesale accounts made up by people getting bundles from telecom providers that pay a fraction of the retail price)

I’ll get out ahead of it…yes Disney added 7M subscribers last q, but what large cable company whose name ends in pectrum did they make a deal with to bundle D+ with cable packages?

So yes Disney does make money on subscribers, but ARPU should also factor in.

Again using the Sony example, Sony takes a cut on the licensing revenue, but doesn’t have to deal with the black hole of owning its on DTC platform.
The cable deal isn’t live yet.

I know because I opted not to renew my annual plan this time and instead, downgrade for that when I pick it up for “free”*. 😏

*with ads but since I’m already stuck with the cable, I’ll take it rather than pay twice.
 

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