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Bob Iger Admits to Major Disney+ Screw Up

Bob Iger on Good Morning America, The Mandalorian and High School Musical The Musical The Series
Credit: Disney Dining

On November 12, 2019, The Walt Disney Company took a huge leap into the streaming game when it launched Disney+ — the ultimate streaming library for Disney fans. Disney+ included hundreds of movies and thousands of television episodes.

And there were not just classics like The Lion King (1994), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Cinderella (1950). There were also several original series, including The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and The Imagineering Story.

High School Musical The Musical The Series

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney+ To Break Records, Become Most Popular Streaming Service in the World

Disney+ did see a lot of initial success, especially since it launched right before the COVID-19 pandemic. With millions of people forced to stay indoors for weeks and months, they turned to streaming to help make the long days and nights easier.

Unfortunately, that success was short-lived, and before long, Disney was steadily losing hundreds of millions of dollars every fiscal quarter. In just a few years, Disney+ had cost the Mouse House around $11 billion.

the mandalorian

Credit: Disney

And now, Disney CEO Bob Iger is finally admitting the company’s major mistake with Disney+ — they dumped too much money into it at the beginning.

While speaking at the MoffettNathanson Media, Internet & Communications Conference, Iger admitted that the company “tried to tell too many stories.”

“As we got into the streaming business in a very, very aggressive way, we tried to tell too many stories. Basically we invested too much, way ahead of possible returns. It’s what led to streaming ending up as a $4 billion loss.”

Of course, Iger did not take all the blame. He stepped away just months after Disney+ launched, and Bob Chapek took over as CEO. Iger said that, when Chapek took the reins, proper accountability fell by the wayside, which also hurt the company.

agatha coven of chaos wandavision season 2 disney plus marvel hahn

Credit: Marvel Studios

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When he took over, Chapek shifted the profits and loss blame to distribution, something that Iger reversed when he came back as CEO in November 2022. Iger said that shifting the blame “resulted in volume and not quality.”

“It was clear to me that our structure was not working, because we were removing accountability from those that were basically investing the most capital was a mistake.”

“There’s a very fine line that you can cross and get in trouble if your volume ends up diluting management’s attention to what is being made is right. And that’s what happened to us. So I have pulled that back.”

bob iger disney george lucas lucasfilm merger

Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Since his return as CEO, Bob Iger has made Disney+ one of his key focuses. He cut the budgets of most of the show’s original programming, canceled several series, and removed other shows that cost more to keep on the streamer than they were making. Because of this, this past quarter, Disney’s streaming service finally saw a profit.

There is still a long way to go to reverse the damage caused by Disney+, but the company is on the right track.

Do you think Bob Iger is right? Did Disney do too much too soon with Disney+? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

One comment

  1. I find it utterly depressing that someone spent billions so others could watch the television.

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