Disney reconsiders making content for others under Bob Iger
Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) Chief Executive Bob Iger Thursday said the studio may resume making films and television shows for its rivals, marking a departure from recent years, when its production resources were harnessed to launch and grow its marquee Disney+ steaming service.
Iger told the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco that streaming services have traditionally relied on a volume of fresh content to attract subscribers. He said he hopes to embrace a more curated HBO-like approach of making a few high-quality shows built around its major brands, as he works to lift Disney+ to a profit.
“As we look to reduce the content that we’re creating for our own platforms, there probably are opportunities to license to third parties,” Iger said. “For a while, that was something we couldn’t possibly do because we were so favoring our own streaming platforms. But if we get to a point where we need less content for these platforms, and we still have the capacity of producing that content, why not use it to grow revenue?”
Iger also talked about the possibility of licensing content to third parties, noting that Seth MacFarlane’s animated series “Family Guy” drew viewers on Disney-owned Hulu after the shows originally aired on the Fox network.
Iger returned to Disney in November, less than a year after he retired, as the entertainment company sought to boost investor confidence and profits at its streaming media unit.
The company announced a sweeping restructuring in February, saying it would eliminate 7,000 jobs as part of an effort to save $5.5 billion in costs and return power to Disney’s creative executives.
The plan promoted activist investor Nelson Peltz to end his quest for a board seat, saying he was happy with Iger’s restructuring.