The Walt Disney Company yesterday announced a strategic reorganization of its media and entertainment businesses to focus on developing and producing original content for the Company’s streaming services.
“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,” Robert Chapek, Disney CEO, said. “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. Our creative teams will concentrate on what they do best—making world-class, franchise-based content—while our newly centralized global distribution team will focus on delivering and monetizing that content in the most optimal way across all platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and the coming Star international streaming service.”
Under the new structure, distribution and commercialization activities will be centralized into a single, global Media and Entertainment Distribution organization. The new Media and Entertainment Distribution group will be responsible for all monetization of content—both distribution and ad sales—and will oversee operations of the Company’s streaming services.
Media and Entertainment Distribution group
Headed by Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing.
The new Media and Entertainment Distribution group will be responsible for all monetization of content—both distribution and ad sales—and will oversee operations of the Company’s streaming services. It will also have sole P&L accountability for Disney’s media and entertainment businesses. The Media and Entertainment Distribution group is headed by Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Consumer Products, Games, and Publishing.
According to Disney, The Media and Entertainment Distribution group will be responsible for the P&L management and all distribution, operations, sales, advertising, data, and technology functions worldwide for all of the Company’s content engines, and it will also manage operations of the Company’s streaming services and domestic television networks. The group will work in close collaboration with the content creation teams on programming and marketing.
Disney says Kareem Daniel is a 14-year Disney veteran, who held leadership positions across a variety of businesses, including consumer products, games, and interactive experiences, publishing, studio distribution, and Walt Disney Imagineering. Prior to leading Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, Daniel served as President of Walt Disney Imagineering Operations, Product Creation, Publishing and Games, where he was responsible for helping to transform IP from the various content partners into evergreen franchise properties at Disney’s parks and resorts, including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World and Shanghai Disneyland, and Pixar Pier and the upcoming Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park.
Daniel also served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and prior to that, as Vice President of Distribution Strategy at Walt Disney Studios, where he worked closely with the leadership in developing the Company’s film content distribution strategy across multiple platforms and played a key role in the commercialization of the Studio’s films.
The Creation of Content
According to Disney, the creation of content will be managed in 3 distinct groups:
1 - Studios
According to Disney, Studios Content will focus on creating branded theatrical and episodic content based on the Disney's franchises for theatrical exhibition, Disney+ and the Company’s other streaming services. The group will include the content engines of The Walt Disney Studios, including Disney live action and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures. Messrs. Horn and Bergman will serve as Chairmen.
2 - General Entertainement
Disney says General Entertainment will focus on creating general entertainment episodic and original long-form content for the Company’s streaming platforms and its cable and broadcast networks. The group will include the content engines of 20th Television, ABC Signature and Touchstone Television; ABC News; Disney Channels; Freeform; FX; and National Geographic. Mr. Rice will serve as Chairman, General Entertainment Content.
3 - Sports
Sports will focus on ESPN’s live sports programming, as well as sports news and original and non-scripted sports-related content, for the cable channels, ESPN+, and ABC. Mr. Pitaro will serve as Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content.
Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products group
Disney Parks will continue to operate under its existing structure, led by Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, who continues to report to Mr. Chapek.
Rebecca Campbell will serve as Chairman, International Operations and Direct-to-Consumer. Bob Iger, in his role as Executive Chairman, will continue to direct Disney creative endeavors.