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Disney focuses on DTC hires as streaming grows central to business

Disney’s shift towards streaming as central to its business growth has been reflected in its job hires.

According to listings tracked by GlobalData, hiring remains strong in Disney’s media networks and direct-to-consumer and international segments along with retail. This is helping the company to offset the impact of Covid-19 on its theme park business, with Disney cutting 28,000 jobs in September in this segment.

The research firm noted that new jobs posted for Disney’s retail and streaming services account for almost 55% of all its postings since April.

Danyaal Rashid, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Disney’s position, in terms of its focus on streaming, has not changed much since GlobalData noted back in May that the company is being held back by its physical assets as a consequence of Covid-19. The company’s parks and resorts traditionally make up a large portion of Disney’s profits, but the company is now trying to buck this trend as streaming is much more reliable and they are in full control because it is DTC.

“Disney’s dreams for Disney+ are for it to transcend from a streaming service to be a distribution tool for hot blockbuster releases at a premium to boost profitability – demonstrated by the fact that they charged $30 for ‘Mulan’ on the service when it was pulled from cinemas.”

During its Q3 earnings, Disney announced that it was at 100 million streaming subscribers globally with Disney+ accounting for almost two-thirds of that total.

Ajay Thalluri, business fundamentals analyst at GlobalData, said: “Disney continues to see success for its Disney+ platform and reported over 100 million subscribers for its streaming services, according to its Q3 2020 earnings call. This means that the company has surpassed its target of 60-90 million subscribers by 2024. Disney is emerging as a major challenger to the market leader Netflix, which has over 190 million subscribers.”

The researcher also notes that Disney will look to correlate a relationship between Disney+ and Disney retail, with the company “likely to use the Disney+ as a platform to push its merchandising and drive traffic to its retail arm.”

Globally, Disney is continuing to expand particularly in APAC, recently posting a significant number of senior-level jobs. These listings include Disney+ director of growth and acquisition for Southeast Asia, and director of sourcing and procurement for India. Disney has also posted senior-level jobs posting in EMEA.

Thalluri said: “Hiring through these changing times, the company posted jobs around health and safety protocols to ensure compliance with emerging COVID-19 guidelines. A large number of the postings are related to mid-level safety and health supervisors and production managers.

“While the company is expected to lay off over 28,000 of its workforce in 2020 and has furloughed 100,000 with the lockdown of its parks, Disney’s focus for the remainder of 2020 will be on DTC and its retail businesses.”

Tags: Disney