Once and future Disney CEO Bob Iger was supposed to fix Disney. He was supposed to make huge staff cuts to convince skeptics that he could cut fat, not bone. He was supposed to reprice streaming services. He was supposed to save Disney properties from encroachment by the state of Florida. The market has rejected his strategy, and that will not change soon. Disney’s stock has been off 17% in the last six months. Even the shares of badly managed Warner Bros. Discovery has done better.
Iger recently said he has been unable to unlock how Disney+ can be profitable. It is priced too low compared to most other major streaming services. Its success, based on subscriber growth, has slowed. Oddly, one of his plans is to cut back on programming. One would think to draw new customers, he would have to go in the opposite direction. Most research shows that Americans have an average of three to four streaming services. Among those are powerhouses Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. They expand content offerings almost every month.
On the other hand, Iger says one of Disney’s “products” is too expensive. The sharp price of going to Disney parks has risen too much. “I’ve always believed that Disney was a brand that needed to be accessible. And I think that in our zeal to grow profits, we may have been a little bit too aggressive about some of our pricing,” Iger said.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has taken control of the area around Disney World. NPR reporters wrote regarding new Florida regulation: “The heart of the bill is the appointment of a five-person state board to oversee municipal services, such as fire protection and road maintenance, where Disney World operates.”
Iger’s chess moves so far involve pricing and dumping people. That is hardly a road to a much more successful company. Iger has to develop a collection of solutions that transform Disney much more broadly.
These are 12 troubling facts about Disney’s parks.
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