Ever since Bob Iger returned as the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, he quickly started a full investigation into the company and started making major changes, one of which was to drastically reduce the amount of content being created by all of its studios.

Disney’s spending on new shows and films for theatrical, linear and streaming was basically out of control as the company had gone all in on trying to feed its streaming services with new content to chase subscribers and to compete with Netflix.  But that spending was causing major issues for Disney and recently, during an Q&A with Michael Nathanson, Bob Iger explained the problem they’ve been having:

One of the big problems with the push to create more content for Disney+ and Hulu was the creative side wasn’t able to keep up with the demand and audiences started to notice the new shows and movies, just sadly weren’t as good as they used to be.  Which Bob Iger noted and said during the Q&A:

Only last year, Bob Iger spoke openly about the future of linear television, which is no longer going to be a core business, sparking talks of selling some channels. Disney also removed many channels like Freeform from its offerings to cable companies like Spectrum.  Bob was asked about the change in linear, to which he said:

Ultimately, we concluded that — and I know I mentioned the word portfolio, where it’s not going to be a growth business, but it could become an important component to our ability to basically engage with the consumer. And so what has gone on, and this is where I give Dana Walden tremendous credit, she’s managing the traditional networks and Jimmy Pitaro, Sports, is basically to reduce pretty dramatically our investment in content specifically aimed at those traditional networks, invest in some, but then manage the traditional platforms, networks, and the streaming platform seamlessly.

Roger’s POV:  It wasn’t hard to notice that with Disney creating so much original programming for its linear channels and streaming services, it was spreading itself too thin. Internationally, you could really see this build-up on a weekly release schedule sometimes offering over a dozen+ original new shows a week, which was unstainable.   

Also, Disney’s linear channels are already making fantastic shows, like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “9-1-1”, but instead, Disney was spending a fortune trying to reinvent the wheel.  It’s very noticeable this year that, especially here in the UK, Disney+ is promoting the popular heavy hitters that people already know rather than trying to push new originals, which just haven’t been connecting with audiences.  It does make more sense for Disney to take successful shows from linear and streaming, offering them to both customers, rather than creating twice as much content.

Do you think Bob Iger is right to cut back on programming?  Let us know on social media!


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Roger Palmer

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. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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