December 4, 2022

Digital Marketing Education

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How Disney’s Bob Iger return could change the future of streaming

Re-evaluate the role of streaming within changing consumer habits

Disney+ was Iger’s last baby before retirement, after fathering major Disney developments like the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox. But streaming is a different beast than it was pre-pandemic when the platform launched in November 2019.

In Nielsen’s most recent edition of The Gauge, which evaluates viewership across digital and traditional video platforms, YouTube commanded 8.5% of consumption in October 2022 compared to Disney+’s 2% share (Hulu, Disney’s other platform that made Nielsen’s graph, held 4%). 

“[Iger’s] understanding of what Disney+ was supposed to be—he’s been proven wrong,” said Parqor’s Rosen, referring to the rush of consumers to short-form and free content rather than premium streaming. “His understanding of what streaming was supposed to be by now in 2022, and towards 2023, has been proven wrong.”

Rosen said that Iger’s Disney “didn’t foresee TikTok becoming the animal that it’s become” and also pointed to the substantial growth of Pluto TV and other free ad-supported streamers. “There’s just things that Disney’s relevance to a younger generation, he thought would be solved by streaming. And the dirty secret is that it isn’t.”

“If it’s about solving streaming, [Iger] is the wrong person,” said Rosen. “If it’s about getting Disney into better graces with advertisers and having a better story of decline for investors as linear business hits a rough patch, he’s the guy.”


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