The fairy godmother in Cinderella once said ‘Even miracles take a little time’. But little did she know that for generations, Disney has been synonymous with miracles and magics, inspirations and aspirations of millions around the world. For generations came and went for the last 100 years, Disney has captured a part of their hearts. The entertainment Mughal that started weaving dreams back in 1923, has recently celebrated its 100th year in business, so on this occasion let’s take a look at how Disney has kept its magic alive –
Walt Disney Company- the portfolio
From the Micky Mouse Clubhouse to bedtime tales of Cinderella and Snow White, Disney peaks in the happiest moments of our childhood. So for most of us, Disney means a walk of reminiscence. But aside from its screen presence The Walt Disney Company as a multinational company has a much more diverse portfolio in the mass media sector. The California-based company is home to various productions and intellectual ownerships across multiple industries. Disney owns and operates several television networks, including ABC, ESPN, Freeform, and the Disney Channel which air several sitcoms, sports, comedy, and animated series. Disney’s other division, Studio Entertainment produces and distributes movies under several labels, including Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Studios. These production houses hold credit for superhits like Star Wars, Avengers, and Frozen. Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris are also services from the company. The services offer experiences that bring consumers of Disney closer to the company’s core offering, which is the fun experience of childhood innocence. Lastly, Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International division consists of the company’s streaming services, e.g. Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Disney’s international operations in foreign markets are also overseen by the division.
The walk of Disney
If we talk about the milestones of Disney, the first name that pops up is Mickey Mouse. In 1928, when Disney created Mickey Mouse, it created not only the most iconic and beloved character in entertainment history but also a name that curated the company’s future growth and success. The growth hit a jackpot with Disney’s first-ever full-length feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney’s acquisition of ABC and Pixar is considered the initiation of successful eras in the media industry. But Disney in its history has been in the headlines for bad investment choices, poor employee management, and environmental issues that led the company to multiple lawsuits.The decision of acquiring Marker Studio was another major investment failure Disney faced in its 100 years tenure. The controversies of racial insensitivity and the acts of underpaying and exploiting labor and animators have always loomed in Disney’s golden journey.
Embracing the 21st Century.
The 21st century has been a century of immense technological advancements and integrations. In recent years, buzzwords like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and others have not been limited only to the research labs but have been made available to the masses. And Disney is not behind in this game. Although Disney has curated millions of childhood memories back in the era of Black & White television, it sure has imprinted its marks in the era of streaming services as well. With its Disney Plus, the Mughal has been a successful producer of original content through its user-friendly and customized interface. While streaking services have made their way to international borders, the integration of technology into Disney’s production has further increased. Disney’s recent initiative ‘Project Kiwi’ which helps create lifelike interactive versions of Disney characters is another example of Disney embracing artificial intelligence. Disney’s Avengers: Damage Control which allows users to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe through Virtual Reality is just another excitement that Disney adds to its Marvel experience. Moreover, Disney has taken AI to create their MyMagic+ system that offers a more customized experience to Disney’s amusement park visitors by suggesting rides, shows, and restaurants based on their preferences.
To cater to the technological needs of the new generation and to achieve consumer convenience, Disney has taken multiple strategies. Its integration deal with Apple and Google has been exclusive among them. The installation of Disney products in Apple devices only makes it a convenient business decision and a smart move for the giant. Installing Google’s augmented reality in Disney theme parks has also given the company a rise in revenue and also brought the consumers ease of service. To create such an experience, Disney has invested in their R&D sector with the prospect of future growth. As a result, Disney has also brought the power of AI through their software system AIM which helps generate realistic motion for animated characters. With such optimization in operation and growth in customization, Disney has been a pioneer in implementing its Direct to Customer strategy that enables them to achieve more data on their audience and consumers to reach a greater peak of capitalizing on the trends of the 21st century.
Disney with recent news of a change in CEO position from Bob Iger to Bob Chapek gives the industry a hint of expanding the brand value. If there is any prediction that can be made for Disney as of the current moment, it is its aim for expansion in the coming years. From more customer-integrated expansion to its product expansion in foreign markets, Disney has been hinting at these with their huge investment in technology integration. And accelerating to achieve its goal, Disney has reported revenue of $65.4 billion in 2021, up from the $59.4 billion it achieved back in 2019. The growth was mainly driven by the success of Disney’s streaming services, including Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu, which have seen strong subscriber growth and engagement in recent years.
With Disney’s growth, another generation of childhood memories passes by. And for its 100th year, Disney again promises integrity and happiness by reminiscing what Walt Disney declared on the eve of Disneyland’s opening: “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse.”