Just last week, one of Disney’s investors penned an open letter calling for the company to shift its focus to streaming (even at the cost of withholding an annual dividend). While there was no immediate response from Disney, it appears that the letter didn’t fall on deaf ears after all. Monday, CEO Bob Chapek announced that the company would be “tilting the scale pretty dramatically [towards its streaming services].”
Speaking on CNBC’s Closing Bell, Chapek said that the company would be focusing a lot more on the way it appealed to consumers. As a result, ad sales, content distribution, and the entire Disney+ platform would be prioritized. So, for those wondering why Soul‘s distribution is being handled a lot differently than Mulan‘s, this is most likely why.
The company needs to focus on new content, Chapek added, and while it isn’t guaranteed that dividends will be affected, there is a chance that the company could use them to fund that content.
Former president of consumer products, games, and publishing, Kareem Daniel, has been tapped to lead the new media and entertainment distribution group. In that tole, he’s expected to oversee any new streaming content and make sure that it turns a profit too.
As a result fo this internal restructure, Chapek also anticipates a small reduction of staff, but doubts it’ll be anywhere near the amount of jobs lost at Disneyland.
While the pandemic is an undeniable factor in this restructure, Chapek says it was inevitable. The closure of theaters not only highlighted the value of the streaming market, it expedited its potential. With companies like Netflix and Amazon already given a headstart, Disney doesn’t just want to keep up; it wants its fair share.