The year 2021 was not a particularly good year for Disney (DIS) nor for its shareholders.
Veteran Disney CEO Bob Iger left the company on Dec. 31 of last year. Successor Bob Chapek has been with Walt Disney for a good 28 years. He wants to continue the success story as the new boss, with numerous restructuring measures.
New Strategic Focus
Recently, the company announced that it would be making an important organizational change for the future. Disney plans to expand its content offerings in regional markets with an international streaming push.
Just last week, the U.S. entertainment giant announced that it had founded an international content group for this purpose. The main goal is to increase the number of international subscribers.
Walt Disney is also appointing Rebecca Campbell as the new head of this international content group. She will report directly to Disney CEO Bob Chapek. This in turn underlines the importance of the unit for the Group.
Clear Subscriber Growth Targets
In the past quarter, the company added 2.1 million new subscribers to its in-house streaming service Disney+. That’s up from 12.6 million in the previous quarter. Chapek’s plan is to reach a good 230 million to 260 million subscribers to Disney+ by 2024. Currently, the number of subscribers to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu worldwide has climbed to a total of more than 179 million by the end of 2021.
The company also plans to conquer more countries with its streaming offer. It wants to more than double the number of countries where Disney+ is available to over 160 by 2023. Above all, this will require good and exclusive content.
A Pioneering Change Process
The U.S. media group is also planning to focus more on streaming services and digitization overall. Which is intended to reduce the heavy dependence on stationary theme parks and movie theaters. It was precisely this dependence that had caused a severe drop in sales, especially during the crisis.
Disney’s audience, meanwhile, is also developing completely new needs in terms of how they want to experience entertainment nowadays. This is a crucial process of change that must be taken into account, and which is being accelerated both by new technologies and by the global pandemic.
Back on the Growth Path
Disney has thus clearly recognized the signs of the times as well as the need to adapt. Chapek has said, “We need to evolve with the audience, not work against them.” Overall, this realignment should bear fruit sooner or later. Meanwhile, things are looking up again somewhat at Disney thanks to recent re-openings of stores and the resulting increase in sales and earnings.
Numerous experts are also optimistic about the outlook for the future. Disney is back on the growth track after the drop in sales and profits caused by the crisis. Disney’s high quality and also the further growth opportunities could also ensure a strong increase in the share price in the coming period.