Disney just announced it will be restructuring the 96 year old company in a way that could completely change the entertainment industry as we know it. Disney stated in an official press release, “Under the new structure, Disney’s world-class creative engines will focus on developing and producing original content for the Company’s streaming services, as well as for legacy platforms, while distribution and commercialization activities will be centralized into a single, global Media and Entertainment Distribution organization.”
In addition to multiple organizational changes, which includes three new “Content Creation” groups, Disney has made it clear that its primary focus will be to create content for its current streaming services, Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Cinemas will no longer be the priority.
Traditionally, films have been produced for theatrical release, and only go to home video for secondary revenue. The pandemic has forced studios to either delay their films in hopes of premiering in theaters, like Black Widow and Wonder Woman 1984, or to premiere on VOD, like Trolls World Tour and Mulan. How will the industry shift once movies are primarily made for streaming and not theaters?
If Disney follows through with their statement on putting streaming content first, it will undoubtedly affect which movies are produced. Low-budget films may be favored over big budget blockbusters since it is near impossible to replicate lucrative ticket sales with monthly streaming fees. Could there ever be a film as large as Avengers: Endgame under this new model?
Disney is walking across new terrain and only time will tell whether its decision will be profitable.
What do you think of the decision Disney recently made to put streaming before theatrical releases? How do you think this will affect the entertainment industry moving forward?