Many film studios and brands have played a significant role in shaping the entertainment world through the decades, but few of them are quite as well-known as Disney.
The organization might have made its name by producing some absolute classics for the big screen, but a recent announcement has suggested that the global powerhouse is looking in a different direction as it plans for the future.
A fresh strategy
The Walt Disney Company released a statement in the middle of October detailing how it was pushing ahead with a “strategic reorganization”. The move would see the company adopt a greater focus on producing original content for the streaming services and legacy platforms that it operates.
Furthermore, the business revealed that it was creating a new Media and Entertainment Distribution group, which would be responsible for the “monetization” of content and also oversee the operations of its streaming platforms.
The announcement, which has come just months after Disney confirmed its earnings for the third quarter of 2020, also detailed how the company would function with three content groups. Studios will focus on theatrical and episodic content for its main franchises, while General Entertainment would look at content for streaming and cable and broadcast networks. Finally, the Sports division would focus on ESPN’s range of live and original content.
The news of Disney’s restructuring plans is fascinating and perhaps emphasizes just how vital the idea of going direct to consumers through streaming has become in the entertainment world in recent years.
This has been highlighted in the film and TV industry through the success of services like Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video and, of course, Disney+. Back in August, TechCrunch revealed the latter now had more than 60.5 million paying subscribers all over the world, with such figures highlighting just how many people choose to watch content in that manner. Streaming has also had a transformative effect on music, as artists now have an opportunity to directly release new tracks to fans without having to wait for the production of physical formats. Again, a host of services are performing well in the area, with Reuters detailing last year how Apple Music was thought to have more than 60 million subscribers.
Streaming has successfully been embraced by video gaming in recent years too, with cloud-based gaming platforms emerging and allowing players to stream titles to a range of different devices. Google Stadia is probably the prime example of the trend, although Microsoft is also offering cloud gaming to subscribers who use its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service. In addition, it was recently confirmed that Amazon is looking to get involved in the area through its Luna platform. Another domain where streaming has been vital for some time is in the world of online casinos, thanks to the live casino concept. Dealers can be seen presenting real life action through a high definition video link on sites that offer live online slots, like Betway. A host of games have been adapted into that style of play featuring various takes on blackjack, roulette and other experiences such as Mega Ball.
It could also be argued that Disney’s decision to look more closely at developing original content on its streaming platforms perhaps brings it in line with some of the other major players within the film and TV world.
For example, Amazon has had a hand in the production of a host of different movies and content, with some achieving significant critical and commercial acclaim. Recent reports from Deadline have suggested that The Boys was one of the most-watched shows on streaming services in the US in the past few weeks, while the Marvellous Mrs Maisel has achieved plenty of recognition too. The show about a housewife-turned-comedian received countless Emmy award nominations this year, while it has also won three Golden Globe Awards as well.
Netflix’s content has also turned heads in recent years, with the likes of Stranger Things and Tiger King becoming major pop culture talking points. The platform has been involved in some big screen success too, with movies like The Irishman and Marriage Story attracting plenty of attention and acclaim. For example, Laura Dern won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as a divorce lawyer in the latter.
An interesting time
With all of that in mind, it will be intriguing to see how Disney chooses to push forward with its original content plans and whether the company looks to follow the lead of others in terms of producing movies and shows that achieve both critical and commercial acclaim.
It is undoubtedly an interesting time in the world of streaming and it will be fascinating to see what impact Disney’s restructuring has on the company – and the wider entertainment industry – going forward.