The Walt Disney Company just announced a strategic reorganization of its media and entertainment business that will focus on the development and production of original content for the company's streaming services as well as legacy platforms. The sales and marketing activities will be combined into a single global organization for the distribution of media and entertainment. The new media and entertainment distribution group will be responsible for all content monetization – both distribution and ad sales – and oversee the operation of the company's streaming services. It will also have sole P&L responsibility for Disney's media and entertainment business.
Three separate groups manage the creation of new content: Studios, General Entertainment, and Sports. They are led by current guides Alan F. Horn and Alan Bergman, Peter Rice and James Pitaro. The media and entertainment sales group is led by Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing. All five executives report directly to Bob Chapek, chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will continue to operate under the existing structure, led by Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, who will continue to report to Mr. Chapek. Rebecca Campbell will serve as Chair, International Operations and Direct-to-Consumer. Bob Iger will continue to lead the company's creative endeavors in his role as Executive Chairman.
In a corporate statement, Chapek said: “Given the incredible success of Disney + and our plans to accelerate our direct customer business, we are strategically positioning our company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value. By managing the creation of content differently from distribution, we can make the content that consumers want most, more effectively and flexibly, and deliver it as they prefer. Our creative teams will focus on what they do best – creating world-class, franchise-based content – while our re-centered global sales team will focus on delivering and delivering that content optimally across all platforms including Disney +, Hulu monetize. ESPN + and the upcoming international star streaming service. "
Under the new structure, the company's three content groups will be responsible and responsible for creating and delivering content for theater, linear and streaming, with an emphasis on the company's streaming services:
- Studios: Horn and Bergman will serve as chairs of Studios Content. Emphasis is placed on creating branded content for theater and episodes based on the company's high-performing theater exhibition franchises, Disney + and the company's other streaming services. The group will encompass Walt Disney Studios content engines including Disney Live Action and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures.
- General entertainment: Rice will serve as general entertainment content chairman, which will focus on creating episodic and original long-form content for the company's streaming platforms as well as 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.
- Sports: Pitaro will serve as Chair of ESPN and Sports Content, which will focus on ESPN's live sports programming, as well as sports news and original and non-scripted sports-related content for cable channels ESPN + and ABC.
The media and entertainment sales group led by Daniel will be responsible for P&L management and all sales, operations, sales, advertising, data and technology functions worldwide for all of the company's content engines, as well as running the Company manage streaming services and domestic television channels. The group will work on programming and marketing in close collaboration with the content creation teams.
As a 14 year old Disney veteran, Daniel has held leadership positions in a variety of companies including consumer products, games and interactive experiences, publishing, studio sales, and Walt Disney Imagineering. He has a deep understanding of the company's brands and franchises, and has extensive experience in extending the original intellectual property to experiential storytelling across all lines of business.
Prior to Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, Daniel was President of Walt Disney Imagineering Operations, Product Creation, Publishing and Games, where he helped transform IP from the various content partners into evergreen franchise properties in Disney's parks and resorts include Star Wars: Galaxy & # 39; s Edge in Walt Disney World and Disneyland, Toy Story Land in Walt Disney World and Shanghai Disneyland, as well as the Pixar Pier and the upcoming Avengers campus in Disney California Adventure Park.
Daniel also served as senior vice president of strategy and business development at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and previously vice president of sales strategy at Walt Disney Studios, where he worked closely with leadership in developing the company's film content distribution strategy across platforms and played a key role in the commercialization of the studio's films.
"Kareem is an exceptionally talented, innovative, and forward-thinking leader with a strong track record in developing and implementing successful global content distribution and marketing strategies," said Chapek. “As we're now trying to grow our direct customer business quickly, a primary focus will be on delivering and monetizing our great content as optimally as possible, and I can't think of anyone better placed to lead this effort than Kareem. His wealth of experience will enable him to effectively bring together the company's sales, advertising, marketing and sales functions to create a distribution powerhouse that will serve all of Disney's media and entertainment businesses. "
"I am honored to lead this new organization at such a crucial and exciting time for our company and I am grateful to Bob for giving me the opportunity," said Daniel. “It is a great privilege to work with the talented and dedicated teams in this group, and I look forward to working closely with the outstanding and incredibly successful team of creative content executives in the company as we build together on the success we do we have already achieved in our DTC and legacy distribution business. "
With the restructuring, the direct-to-consumer and international business will no longer be managed together. In Campbell's role as Head of International Operations, she will be responsible for coordinating and integrating activities in the various business areas in each market to best represent the overall interests of the company and will report to Chapek. In her role as director of direct sales for Disney +, Hulu and ESPN +, she will report to Daniel.
The new structure is effective immediately and the company expects to switch to financial reporting under this structure in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.
The company will hold a virtual investor day on December 10th, where it will reveal more details of its direct-to-consumer strategies.
Source: Walt Disney Company
Dan Sarto is the Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.