“When I think about what is going on in our businesses and our world today disruption caused by technology certainly is a big issue,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger while sitting within the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. “It’s one that I don’t necessarily get anxious about but one that I spend a lot of time on and am deeply focused on it. What we’ve tried to do is build a company that is capable of adjusting.”
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, discusses the launch of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland (see video below) as well as how technological disruption is impacting media and advertising in an interview on Fox Business:
Disruption Caused By Technology Certainly Is a Big Issue
When I think about what is going on in our businesses and our world today disruption caused by technology certainly is a big issue. It’s one that I don’t necessarily get anxious about but one that I spend a lot of time on and am deeply focused on it. I happen to believe that because of the kinds of stories that we tell and the products that we have including Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, Disney, Star Wars, FX, Avatar, to name a few, that we have products that are not necessarily bulletproof or invulnerable to change but are more likely to withstand that kind of disruption we’re seeing.
What we’ve tried to do is build a company that is capable of adjusting. This is not just in terms of our culture and the wherewithal, but capable of adjusting in terms of the kind of products we have to new forms of monetization and new forms of delivery. What Disney Plus and ESPN Plus and Hulu are designed to do is not only to grow as businesses to themselves but to be there for us as major alternatives in terms of business models should disruption get so acute that the current business model ends up being less viable.
We Priced Disney Plus To Be Very Accessible
We priced Disney Plus to be very accessible. What we are putting on are incredibly popular products such as Disney animated movies going all the way back to Snow White, the Star Wars films, the Marvel films, and on and on. Also on Disney Plus will be all the new things we are making. We wanted as many people across the world to be able to afford what they love which is all these properties.
I actually don’t believe that price is going to be much of an issue for us given what’s available in the marketplace. For people who maybe can’t afford to spend another $7 a month is it possible they will give something else up for it? Sure. Is it possible they will wait to subscribe? Of course. We purposely kept the price down so that it would be more affordable to more people.
Most Focused Initially on Net Subscribers
I think in terms of the metrics that we will be most focused on initially (with Disney Plus) it would be net adds or net subscribers. That’s probably the most important metric for the foreseeable future. Another metric will be just how much people are watching programs or movies that we put on. We are making a lot of original product including Star Wars product with a series called The Mandalorian.
We’ll watch carefully in terms of what’s being consumed. We don’t have any worries about it. We bought a technology platform called BAMTECH. It’s going to be a great means of delivering a good experience to consumers. We certainly have an ample library of products through television and movies and we have a lot of original content being produced.
Advertising Will Find Its Way To the Consumer
I think there will be channel consolidation (in the future). I don’t know about companies. We are a little spent right now I should say. We’ve got a lot to digest still. I think you will see some more consolidation. More importantly, I think there will be consolidation in the types of products that are brought out, particularly channels. There will be fewer channels globally in five years than there are today.
Advertising will find its way to the consumer. Hulu sells advertising and more than the majority of people who sign up for Hulu are watching Hulu programs with advertising in it. We know there is advertising on Facebook and advertising on a variety of new platforms. It’s not on Netflix and won’t be on Disney Plus. I think the advertiser, given the technology that’s available and given the data that will be available, will find its way to the consumer, a way of delivering their messages.