The Walt Disney Company appears to be preparing to shift its focus, and it’s going to be spending a lot more time focusing on streaming.
On Monday Disney CEO Bob Bahpek announced that the company will be creating a new Media and Entertainment Distribution group that will be responsible for dissemination and ad sales for all of its content. Kareem Daniel will head up the new group having previously been president of consumer products, games, and publishing.
Content creation will still fall to Studios, General Entertainment, and Sports.
“Given the incredible success of Disney Plus and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-consumer business, we are strategically positioning our Company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value,” Chapek said in a statement. “Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it.”
“Kareem is an exceptionally talented, innovative and forward-looking leader, with a strong track record for developing and implementing successful global content distribution and commercialization strategies,” said Chapek.
The reorganization is effective immediately and is a direct response to changes in consumer habits since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. It was also motivated by Dan Loeb’s Third Point Capital which is one of the largest shareholders in the Walt Disney Company. The firm upped its investment earlier in the year for the express purpose of seeing an accelerated investment in streaming options.
While this certainly doesn’t mean Disney is abandoning theatrical releases entirely, the moving of Mulan and Soul to Disney Plus certainly seems to not be the exception to the rule. Could we see a Marvel film make the move? Both Black Widow and The Eternals completed filming prior to the pandemic, and the former is complete. It would be the biggest move yet, but we’ll just have to wait and see.