Bob Iger has wasted no time getting to work as the newly reinstated CEO. The once and future “Disney King” had long been critical of former CEO Bob Chapek’s handling of the company after taking the reins. When Chapek’s method turned to massive financial losses, something had to be done.
While some might say “less is more,” Chapek clumsily favored a “more is more” mentality concerning production of original TV series and movies (most of which were created for the company’s streaming platform Disney+). He hoped they would strike gold with the “must-see tv” event that would rocket the streaming platform into profitability. The problem with that plan is that these shows and movies cost a lot to produce. Disney was spending millions on each new series. That’s…not going to turn the fledgling platform into a financial powerhouse. It’s going to ruin it.
Enter Bob Iger. Shortly after the news broke of Chapek’s sudden firing, Disney released its annual report for the upcoming year. What was interesting about it was the drastic reduction in television shows and feature programming planned for 2023. According to the report, “In fiscal 2023, the Studios plan to produce approximately 40 titles, which include films and episodic television programs, for distribution theatrically and/or on our DTC (direct to consumer) platforms.”
Iger’s quality-over-quantity approach will be a win-win. Less financial output from the company equals greater profits over time, as well as less damage done to their reputation and bottom line when the company produces a series of poorly received titles. The consumer wins, too, because there will be a smaller pool to choose from. If you’re thinking, “what, that doesn’t sound like a win,” I get it. However, With the focus on rapid production, it’s no secret Disney has produced some…let’s say, “less than stellar” works recently. With fewer titles to produce, more time and effort can be spent making them the very best that they can be. Consumers win because they will have fewer duds to shift through to find the gems.
Disney is not the only production company shifting to a more financially conservative strategy in the new year. Warner Brothers and HBO are both cutting their budgets back substantially this year. They’ve even reached out to Amazon Prime to sell content.