Bob Iger recently held a Walt Disney Company town hall meeting.
While he mentioned things like the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes briefly, his main focus was on building the company and the changes he’s excitedly anticipating in the future. Let’s take a look at what was mentioned and what we can expect to come.
After “addressing a lot of things that were broken and a lot of things that just needed repair,” Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, is looking forward to the next season of building at the Disney company. According to him, “building is a lot more fun than fixing.”
So what is all being built now that he’s repaired any issues within the company? He mentioned several things to be getting changes and updates such as the parks, ESPN, streaming, and movies. And since he is a “big believer in creating and maintaining a strong corporate culture” and “the need to constantly innovate,” we’re sure the creativity from the team will be flowing.
We knew that a $60 billion budget was set aside for the next 10 years of expansions at the Disney parks (double the past decade). Iger made a great case for why this is so important at the town hall stating, “With the IP that we have, it seems like a no-brainer to put our money where it can do us the most good.”
Disney may not have an endless amount of capital to throw at the parks, but since the parks have done so well in terms of profits, it makes sense that they’re looking to expand them.
Iger and his team of Disney executives are excited about the recent opening of World of Frozen in Hong Kong Disneyland and for the soon-to-come Zootopia-inspired land. There’s a whole team working on “blue sky” ideas and projects for the next expansions coming to the parks.
The team also brought up changes coming to the realm of sports broadcasting. They are currently in the market for potential partners with the hopes of enhancing their products and increasing their exposure. They “intend to offer [their] primary channels a la carte no later than 2025,” according to Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN Chairman.
Disney also hope to continue to change and grow the sports broadcasting brand to serve their sports fans “anytime and anywhere.” This also includes more interactivity and more sociability. We’ve seen this begin with the launching of ESPN BET, the new sports betting app.
Along with more directed streaming from ESPN, Disney is also looking at how they can enhance direct-to-consumer streaming of all media by working with business partners and developing newer business models. According to Dana Walden, Co-Chairman of Disney Entertainment, their “linear channels are deeply embedded in our streaming strategy.” They hope to use the two demographics of audiences –over 60 on ABC and late 30s on Hulu– to “meet their viewers where they are.”
This can be done by keeping the live shows on linear networks and then adding them to Hulu shortly after they’ve aired to bring them to the younger audience. In conjunction with this plan, we will be seeing the merging of Disney+ and Hulu into one singular app. The Beta of this one-app experience is set to release this December while the full form will be released in March 2024.
Combining these apps will create a much more user-friendly experience that “enables subscribers their own prolific algorithm,” according to Disney. But what else can expect from Disney+ and the realm of movies? Well, per Iger, “When it comes to creating a perception of a company, nothing is as important as movies.”
“I am a huge believer in the need to constantly innovate,” shared Iger, “Almost everything we do as a company begins with an important and great story.” Iger kept coming back to the notion that quality is better than quality and that, “quantity in many ways can destroy quality.”
“The number of stories that can be told are endless– the creativity that exists in peoples’ minds, the one thing that AI won’t replace…is creativity,” according to Iger. He says, “There are many stories yet to tell.” Even if something sounds crazy, he is ready to hear the “maybe” because “maybe is so important.” So it sounds like we will be getting movies for many years to come. Perhaps, some more sequels as well as original stories that “come from the hearts and minds of creators.”
The company continues to be open-minded with many new and creative ideas. Iger shared, “We are open-minded about our future and we are optimistic about our present.” He ended the meeting stating there are, “example after example…of what this company is capable of.” He’s excited and ready to build again, and we are, too.
In the meantime, keep following All Ears for more Disney news.
Join the AllEars.net Newsletter to stay on top of ALL the breaking Disney News! You'll also get access to AllEars tips, reviews, trivia, and MORE! Click here to Subscribe!
What change are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!