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The media landscape is shifting and Disney is placing itself in a position to come out on top. The company, famous for its iconic cartoon characters and dream-like theme parks, announced a massive reorganization of its entertainment division to strengthen its portfolio streaming services, which includes direct-to-consumer service Disney+, sports streaming service ESPN+, and Hulu.
The company’s first step was to completely restructure the way its content is made by creating three content creation groups: Studios, General Entertainment, and Sports. These groups will be led by Alan F. Horn and Alan Bergman, Peter Rice, and James Pitaro who all report to CEO Bob Chapek. Under the new structure, Disney’s creative efforts will be focused on producing original content for its streaming services and legacy platforms.
After sorting out its content production strategy the company established a new Media and Entertainment Distribution Group, which is now overseen by Kareem Daniel. A veteran Disney exec, Daniel initially joined the company as an intern but worked his way up over 14 years and most recently served as the President of Consumer Products, Games, and Publishing.
In his new role, Daniel will be in charge of turning content into cash by selling ads on its platforms or striking deals to distribute Disney content on other platforms. He will also oversee operations of the Company’s streaming services and have sole profit and loss accountability for Disney’s media and entertainment businesses.
But why is this important?
Disney’s organizational shift comes as the coronavirus pandemic has brought the movie theater industry to its knees, crippling a core distribution channel for Disney’s theatrical releases. This has spurred the company to push many of its movies that were intended to debut in theaters, like Mulan, to premiere on Disney+, in turn raising the importance of the division.
As of August, Disney+, which launched in November 2019, reached the low end of its 5-year subscriber goal with 60.5 million global subscribers. By investing in a new organizationalstructure now, Disney can double down on its current success and set itself up for long-term growth in “the new normal.”
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