Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Disney Reorganizes Consumer Products, Streaming Businesses

Disney Reorganizes Consumer Products, Streaming Businesses

As part of the reorganization, parks and resorts chair Bob Chapek will add consumer products to his purview and will become chairman of a new Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products business.

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In addition to ESPN+ and the Disney-branded streaming service, the new segment will contain Disney's global media businesses and its ownership stake in Hulu. Mayer has served as Disney's Chief Strategy Officer since 2015. That business will house the global media businesses, as well as the coming streaming service, the company's stake in Hulu and its soon to-be-launched ESPN-plus streaming service. It is pulling its first-run movies from Netflix in 2019 to offer them on the Disney-branded service. Instead, he described the new structure as "strategically positioning our businesses for the future".

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While most reorganizations can be viewed as problematic, Wall Street is treating Walt Disney with a slightly positive view on an otherwise negative day for the markets. It will also include the upcoming ESPN+ streaming service that is to be programmed in partnership with ESPN. It will carry movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, in the pay TV window, as well as original and exclusive TV series and movies, plus thousands of titles from Disney's film and TV archives.

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Disney's streaming tech company BAMTech will now house all consumer-facing digital technology and products as part of the new D2C segment. And it will handle the distribution of all direct-to-consumer services globally - something that reflects Disney's plans to counter the Netflix threat not just here in the USA, but on the worldwide stage, where Netflix has been seeing rapid growth. Disney also combined its theme parks business with the consumer products unit that licenses characters for toys, apparel and other merchandise. All in all, Walt Disney Company is setting itself up into four broader business segments. This business is not being changed except for program sales management moving to the Direct-to-Consumer and worldwide business segment. The company expects to transition to financial reporting under the new structure by the beginning of fiscal 2019.

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