The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) is an entertainment and media conglomerate. Founded as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio back in 1923, the company was renamed The Walt Disney in 1986, by Roy Oliver Disney to honour his elder brother, Walter Elias Disney.
Even though founded in 1923, it was not until 1928 when Walt Disney created the iconic Mickey Mouse character. It also marks the start of animation films as Disney would go on and create Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio, Fantasia (both 1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942).
Eventually, Disney would venture into the theme park business as well under Disneyland. Disney’s business would remain the same throughout the year, apart from their venture into 3D animation films through their acquisition of Pixar Studios.
Disney finally saw its business pivoting into a more digital-centric leap in 2019. With Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and Blue Sky Studios all under The Walt Disney Studios, Disney is slowly recreating more contents with the intellectual properties it now holds. It also marks Disney’s venture into the on-demand silver screen space via a subscription model.
Today, Disney’s sprawling business empire is split into 4 categories, namely Media Networks, Parks, Experiences and Products, Studio Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer & International.
Business Vertical 1: Media Networks
Under media networks, Disney earns a major part of its revenue via affiliate fees. Multi-channel video programming distributors (i.e. cable, satellite, telecommunications and digital over-the-top (OTT) will pay Disney a fee to distribute Disney related contents to their userbase. Some examples of video distributors are Hulu and YouTube TV.
Some of the cable channels and brands under Disney’s media networks include The Disney Channel, ESPN, Freeform and FX. Advertising also contributes significant revenue under the media network category.
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