Monday, 22 October, 2018

Disney creates a dedicated streaming video unit for digital future

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Doris Mccormick | 15 March, 2018, 12:23

As part of a comprehensive reorganization, the company announced Wednesday morning that it will consolidate its direct-to-consumer businesses, including its forthcoming streaming services, technology and worldwide media operations into a single division. The new streaming sources are created to provide a new source of revenue and reduce its reliance on licensing fees from third-party distributors.

On top of this action, Walt Disney's Parks & Resorts unit will combine with its Consumer Products operations for a new hew hub where Disney's stories, characters and franchises can come to life.

Disney's travel and leisure businesses include six resort destinations in the U.S., Europe and Asia; Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club; and the Adventures by Disney tour operator.

Also moving to the new segment is Disney's program sales operations, headed by Janice Marinelli, which includes the global distribution of film and TV content to the new streaming service, plus Hulu, Movies Anywhere, and other third-party platforms. He will now also be tasked with all of Disney's consumer products operations globally, including licensing and Disney stores.

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Disney's global advertising-supported platforms - including ESPN, ABC, Freeform and the Disney Channels-will move from Disney's Media Networks business segment to the new direct-to-consumer and worldwide segment.

The service, now unnamed, will launch in late 2019, as an exclusive global window for Disney, Pixar, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm content, plus original programming. A second and still unnamed offering, built around the Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar brands, is expected late next year.

The Disney Media Networks business segment will be co-chaired by Ben Sherwood, President, Disney|ABC Television Group, and James Pitaro, who was recently named President of ESPN and previously served as Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.

Disney expects to switch its financial reporting to reflect the new structure by the beginning of fiscal 2019, the company said. Disney shares were up 0.4% at $104.14, when the Dow was down 242 points at 24,764 and when the S&P 500 was down nearly 15 points at 2,749.82.

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