Disney CEO Shares Plans to Give Disney+ Consumers More Content and Choice
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has detailed the company’s plans for the future of Disney+. The goal is to continue promoting the streaming platform and to create “enough content flow.” The company is also paying close attention to the market as they focus on giving consumers a choice when it comes to watching newly released movies in theaters or at home.
Currently, Disney is in the process of closing 100 international TV channels. Most of the content from those channels will then move to Disney+. This is one way that the company will continue to provide more value to subscribers.
During the pandemic, Disney far surpassed its subscriber goals, racking up an impressive 100 million subscribers. Now, things are slowly returning to normal as the pandemic gradually improves. As other streaming services offer content for theatrical exhibition, Disney is running with the same idea. They previously announced Premier Access — which allowed the simultaneous release of films in theaters and on Disney+ — though Chapek said the company wasn't committed to keeping Premier Access around beyond 2021.
Chapek said the company is being flexible as it grows and makes changes, explaining, “One of the things we learned is flexibility is good, because there are two dynamics going on. One is people’s willingness to return to theaters and theaters’ ability to return in a meaningful way. The second one is the change in consumer behavior that’s happening naturally — with COVID probably acting as a bit of a catalyst, but it was going to happen anyway.”
He continued, “Whether we’re looking at a theatrical-exclusive window with a fairly dramatically shortened timing window between the first and second offerings, or whether we’re looking at theatrical plus or Disney+ Premier Access, or whether we’re looking at taking something directly to our [streaming] service, we’re really celebrating that flexibility. We’re trying to offer consumers more choice as they gain confidence [about returning] to theaters.”
Chapek also talked about content flow and the company’s growth. Naturally, COVID recovery is an important factor. He stressed the importance of flexibility once again and said, “We’ve dramatically increased our investment in content based on [our] powerhouse brands and franchises. We’ve now got an organization that’s really built for this push towards direct-to-consumer, so that we can guarantee that we’ve got enough content flow regardless of whatever distribution channel we choose to employ on a particular piece of content. But we’ve also been working with international expansion and global scale … we’ve got a distribution model that’s very flexible that can toggle either way, depending on consumer behavior or the state of recovery from COVID [in a given market].”