Iger to target Disney+ creativity and profitability over subscriber growth

Bob Iger, who returned as Disney CEO last week, has told employees that he will focus on creativity and profitability as he seeks to get the company back on an even keel. A key implication of his internal message is that the firm will no longer be chasing subscriber growth for the sake of it at streaming platform Disney+.

Bob Iger

Disney currently has 164m subscribers worldwide across a range of direct to consumer services. But it reported operating losses of $1.5bn in Q4 for this division of its business. That rattled the financial markets and led to the departure of previous CEO Bob Chapek – but not before he had announced plans for cuts. Iger has told employees there will still be extensive restructuring and a hiring freeze.

Iger dismissed rumours that Apple might buy the company as “pure speculation” and added that Disney won’t be looking for any major acquisitions in the short term. A bigger priority right now is likely to be the launch of Disney+’s new advertising tier on December 8 – which potentially opens up another revenue stream.

2022 has seen a major correction in the SVOD streaming market as leading players battle for subscribers. Netflix saw its share price crash in April when subscriber growth stalled, and Warner Bros Discovery is undergoing a protracted restructuring.

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