Coronavirus has made Disney, the largest entertainment company in the world, switch its priorities towards the streaming industry.
Disney is officially restructuring its media and entertainment divisions, as streaming becomes increasingly the only way people can consume new entertainment. Streaming will now be the most important facet of the company’s media business.
This means speeding up its direct-to-consumer content, and moving as much of its new content to the Disney+ platform.
In the statement announcing the restructuring Bob Chapek said, “I would not characterize it as a response to Covid. I would say Covid accelerated the rate at which we made this transition, but this transition was going to happen anyway.”
“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.”
Even though they say the pandemic has nothing to do with it, Disney’s announcement comes as the global coronavirus pandemic has started to make a resurgence and has crippled the entertainment business as a whole. Over the past months customers have moved toward streaming options. As of August, Disney had over 100 million paid subscribers across its streaming platforms, more than half are subscribed to Disney+.
In recent months, the company pushed back a number of its theatrical releases including its Marvel blockbuster Black Widow. Just last week they made the decision that instead of postponing the Pixar film Soul, it will now debut on Disney+ on Christmas Day.