Disney has made a groundbreaking announcement that could change the face of entertainment forever.
Disney will be shifting its focus for entertainment to streaming – away from theaters. In that same breath, a major reorganization of that sector of the company is underway.
As the company looks to refocus following the devastating affects of COVID-19 in 2020 they will be restructuring their media and entertainment divisions to pivot to a focus on streaming which will become the primary facet of the company’s business.
The announcement came on Monday. In an effort to enhance their direct-to-consumer strategy, Disney will streamline their media businesses into a single organization. That one organization will solely assume responsibility for content distribution, ad sales and Disney+. Following the announcement, according to CNBC, shares for the company jumped over 5% in after-hours trading.
The New Head Honcho
Kareem Daniel has been promoted as part of the reorg. His former capacity was as president of games and publishing within Disney’s consumer products division. He will now be charged with overseeing the new media and entertainment distribution group.
Daniel’s main focus will be to ensure streaming profitability. Daniels will assume control over the entire company’s streaming services and domestic television networks. This includes content distribution, sales and advertising.
Disney+, Disney’s own streaming service will be a top focus as Disney looks to move away from theaters and control more of the entire user experience through the streaming service they developed.
This comes on the heels of a number of potential Disney blockbuster films being pushed back, canceled and postponed due tot he 2020 climate. The most recent film being the highly anticipated Pixar film “Soul” which will go straight to Disney+ in December.
Disney also pulled the 2020 film “Mulan” from the box office calendar and put it straight to Disney+ for a one-time cost of $30. Complete analysis of the profits from this move are unavailable at the time of publishing.
Alan Horn and Alan Bergman will remain in charge of the company’s studios. Their focus will be creating content for theatrical release, Disney+ and Hulu. Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures are all under this segment.
Related: Disney Lays Off 28,000 Castmembers
Peter Rice will also continue his role as head the company’s general entertainment group. His purview includes 20th Television, ABC Signature and Touchstone Television, ABC News, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX and National Geographic.
James Pitaro will remain on as head of the company’s sports content with a focus on live sports programming, sports news and original and non-scripted sports-related content across ESPN, ESPN+ and ABC.
All will report directly to CEO Bob Chapek.
The company’s parks, experiences and products director will remain under Josh D’Amaro. Rebecca Campbell is still chairman of direct-to-consumer and international operations. Campbell will report directly to Chapek for all things related to international operations but will report to Daniel when it comes to Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+.
Said CEO Bob Chapek in a statement “Given the incredible success of Disney+ 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. 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.”
Daniel’s media and entertainment distribution group will manage all distribution, operations, sales and advertising across the three content groups. Daniel has spent 14 years at with company in a variety of positions. He helped transform Disney’s Star Wars property into the two Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands in Disney World and Disneyland as well as aided in bringing Toy Story Land, Pixar Pier and Avengers Campus to the parks.
This new structure is effective immediately.
Disney also announced that it will hold a virtual investor day on Dec. 10.