Disney Plans To Charge For Online Content

    July 23, 2009

Walt Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger says the company has plans to offer a variety of its content, including movies, TV shows and games online for a fee.

"The notion of going online at some point as a subscribe-to, robust entertainment experience is pretty attractive to us," Iger said. "We are developing such an experience."

Iger made the comments Wednesday at Fortune magazine’s Brainstorm: Tech conference.

Robert A. Iger
Robert A. Iger

Iger believes Internet users would be willing to pay for access to quality content. He said people spend about $5 an hour to watch a movie at a theater, 75 cents an hour to read books, newspapers and magazines and 50 cents an hour to watch cable and satellite TV, but just 25 cents an hour to surf the Internet.

"There’s plenty of room for people to spend more money on things that they’re doing online," Iger said. "We have ample evidence both in traditional and new media, that people are willing to pay for quality."

Disney currently brings in online revenue for the content it sells on iTunes and the subscription fee it charges for its Club Penguin site. In addition, in April Disney partnered with NBC Universal and News Corp to be a content provider and equity partner in Hulu.

"Subscription has the most promise because people will pay to subscribe to something that is really good. Our brand offers us some rich opportunities for subscription," he said.