Wednesday, January 9, 2019

If I Were Disney CEO Part 33 - Television and Streaming Overview

As I transition between corporate units, from Studio Entertainment to Television, I wanted to preface the change with an overview post, similar to how I started the the previous divisions.  The goal for this post is to outline overarching ideas and goals for the television division as a whole and how that will impact decisions for the individual channels and offerings.

Television and home entertainment represent an exciting opportunity for Disney to be at the forefront of a massive shift in the way media is presented.  With the increase in "cable-cutting" and streaming options, the change in the form of television consumption should lead to requisite changes in the form of television presentation. This opens big opportunities for experimentation and innovation.

Further, the structure of Disney's television offerings should allow for complete coverage of all demographics as well as increased synergy with the other content generating departments, particularly Studio Entertainment.  The overall strategy then will be similar to Studio Entertainment, focusing on redevelopment and rebranding to fully flesh out the television and streaming slate.

As before, there are a few goals that will carry through this division:

  • The primary goal is to cement each offerings unique identity.  To identify why each television channel and streaming option exists.  This also plays into identifying what demographic the offering serves.
    • This applies across non-Disney network offerings as well.  What does ABC represent compared to NBC, CBS or Fox?
    • The individual channels within Disney's offerings must likewise be unique among themselves.  The Disney Channel should be a unique offering from Freeform.
  • A secondary goal will be to identify gaps in the current television offerings and fill those with appropriate content.
    • For example, in comparison to other media conglomerates, one offering that Disney does not offer is a 24-hour news network.  Should an ABC News channel be offered?  Does this fit a core competency of the network and the company?
    • Further, you could compare The Disney Channel as it currently exists and Disney XD as appealing to the same age bracket, but one focused on tween girls and the other on tween boys.  Is there a need for gender-specific networks anymore?  Or would should they be offered to reach different age brackets with offerings for both girls and boys?
  • A further goal will be to coordinate between broadcast and streaming options such that each fill a purpose, recognizing the both division and overlap between the audiences.  
    • For example, content could flow both directions from broadcast to streaming and from streaming to broadcast and reach additional viewers in each direction.  This can even be expanded to cover broadcast and cable.
  • A final goal will be to leverage synergies with the Studio Entertainment brands in the appropriate channels.
    • ESPN Studios films would be natural fits for ESPN and so on.
    • Further, Studio Entertainment offerings may cut across various television offerings.  Spider-man may be appropriate for Freeform, whereas the Defenders and the Punisher may be better suited for FX.

With that framework, the following television and streaming options will be discussed over the coming weeks:
*Please note, while Disney has participation in A&E, History, and Lifetime, I've decided not to focus on those networks and would even recommend them for divestiture.

This should give a little bit of a preview for some of the changes that I would implement and will serve as a continuing guidepost for the entries over the coming weeks.

As always, thank you for reading and continuing through this journey with me.

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