Following the return of Bob Iger as the Walt Disney Companies CEO, after a week of getting readjusted to being back in the role after over two years, Bob Iger held a special town hall question and answer session with cast members today in Burbank, California.
During the town hall session, Bob Iger did address some of the issues the company is having with its linear and streaming business. The massive amount of losses from the direct-to-consumer business was one of the many reasons former CEO, Bob Chapek was removed from the role and fixing the losses of the division is one of the main issues Bob Iger faces.
Since returning, Bob Iger has already announced that he was going to restructure the media division and the head of the Disney Media and Entertainment Division (DMED), Kareem Daniel, has left the company. There is no timeline for how long this restructuring might take.
During the town hall, Bob Iger echoed what the stock market analysts have been saying for a while, following Netflix’s poor performance earlier this year, in that Disney is now going to be shifting its focus toward making its streaming business profitable rather than concentrating on just adding subscribers. Up until recently, stock analysts and shareholders have been looking to grab as many streaming subscribers as possible, but as many studios have realised, having lots of subscribers doesn’t necessarily mean they make more money.
“Instead of chasing subscriptions with aggressive marketing and aggressive spending on content, we have to start chasing profitability. In order to achieve that we have to take a very, very hard look at our cost structure across our businesses.”
Bob Iger also addressed that linear media is becoming harder to move forward with growth. So, they need to be more aware of cost spending for linear media creation, which will no doubt impact streaming content creation.
This is one of the major reasons why Disney is increasing the cost of Disney+ next week in many countries, including the US, Australia and New Zealand. Plus, the new ad-supported tier will also be launching next week. Both of these will significantly impact the amount of money flowing into the streaming division.
Way back in 2019, before Disney+ launched, the company said it would take until 2024 to make streaming profitable, and they’ve continued to say the same thing year over year, but now the post-launch era of Disney+ is over, now there will be some significant changes.
The previously announced hiring freeze will be staying in place, and they are not looking to make any acquisitions any time soon. He also shot down the idea of a merger with Apple, saying it was just pure speculation.
Ultimately, this town hall event was done to put cast members at rest about the company’s overall future, and there weren’t any major announcements, but just having Bob Iger back in control of the company, is settling down some of the issues at the company. But he will still have to deliver to fans and shareholders.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.