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Disney Aims to Match Netflix's Technological Prowess, Says CEO Bob Iger.

In a candid revelation at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, acknowledged the entertainment giant's technological shortfall compared to its streaming rival, Netflix.


Robert Iger (Source: https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/)
Robert Iger (Source: https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/)

Despite Disney's rapid subscriber growth, reaching 100 million in record time and currently boasting around 150 million subscribers, Iger admitted the need for technological advancements to reduce costs associated with customer acquisition and retention. "We're actively developing the necessary technology to match Netflix's 'gold standard.' Their superior tech infrastructure significantly contributes to their wider profit margins through lower marketing costs and reduced subscriber churn," Iger explained.


The conversation also touched on the strategic positioning of Hulu within the US market, as it exits its Beta phase. Hulu is set to adopt the role played by the Star brand in international markets, a move anticipated to enhance customer engagement through an increased content volume. "Integrating Hulu into the Disney+ ecosystem offers a protected brand experience while providing viewers with more control and choice, particularly concerning parental guidance," Iger remarked, citing positive initial data from the Hulu and Disney+ integration.


Despite Hulu's promising domestic performance, Iger noted its unlikely expansion as a global brand due to the success of Star. However, both brands are expected to offer similar experiences, with adjustments for local tastes.


Iger also discussed the recently announced sports joint venture with Fox Corp. and Warner Bros. Discovery, which aims to merge ESPN+ with traditional linear sports broadcasting. This initiative seeks to attract younger audiences and former subscribers with a more affordable and focused package. "Our goal is to welcome back those who've moved away from the conventional multichannel bundles by offering a cost-effective and tailored viewing experience," Iger stated, emphasizing the consumer-friendly approach of the new sports platform.


As Disney charts its course in the competitive streaming landscape, its focus on technological enhancement and strategic content distribution underscores its commitment to maintaining a leading position while addressing the evolving preferences of a diverse subscriber base.

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