DISNEY: A NEW CHALLENGER FOR NETFLIX

Netflix, according to analysts, is doing well in its global business ventures but has lost its former status in the U.S.

One of the reasons is the competitiveness from U.S. companies that it now faces, including Amazon and, most recently, Disney.  The Walt Disney Company has been at the top of its game for many years through its ability to develop both movies and theme parks that are favored by the public.  As we have discussed in recent posts, Disney has determined that a way to its new future is through offering Disney+, a service that will, for a monthly fee, stream new and old shows built around its popular franchises.  Thus, the company has made the decision to break with Netflix and, instead, become its competitor.  In the process, Disney will be going about the transformation of itself from a company where every movie and theme park ride is produced to perfection, no matter how much time it takes, to a tech company that must act quickly and deliberatively in their new ultra-competitive space.  The company’s employees report that those revisions that will result in a major cultural shake-up are ongoing with due diligence.  The first major effort will be a new Star Wars movie that will bypass theaters and TV and go directly to the new service, Disney+.  And, to keep the momentum going, Disney is offering bonuses for the services of directors and show runners to work on offerings that it sees as likely to lure customers away from Netflix.  And, an additional preparation is to alert its software developers to be prepared for handling millions of subscribers once the new service is launched.   Similar actions are taking place across Hollywood, with traditional movie studios retooling their missions and looking to compete in the new marketplace.  It’s that Disney, as has been the case since Walt ran the company, has shown the ability to think fastest and farthest.  Disney CEO Robert Iger has called Disney+ his number one priority and has recently spent $71.3 billion to acquire 21st Century Fox in order to boost the number of movies and shows that it can offer to subscribers of the new service.  Iger has also given up millions of dollars in Netflix licensing fees, in favor of Disney’s new service, and has delayed his retirement to make sure that the transition to the new era goes smoothly.  Disney franchises such as Star Wars and High School Musical will anchor the monthly subscription service, set to launch in November.  The company plans to go head-on with Netflix over family programming, in an effort to become the primary provider in that area.  One of the current challenges for the company is to disentangle current licensing agreements for specific movies, so that those movies can only be seen, in future, on Disney+.  Each of the Disney studios – Pixar, Walt Disney Animation, Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios –  have been ordered to produce new shows and movies for the Disney+ service, to be aired along with older content.  It seems like all the preparation has been thorough and complete, all the way down to the acquisition of a major share in BAMTech, a streaming technology company.  Disney has always known that when you decide to do something, decide to do it right.

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