Arts & Entertainment, Business

Managing Industry Disruption: Disney Plus Case Study

Bob Iger

Lesson time 8:52 min

One of Bob’s superpowers is his ability to predict where the industry is headed. He talks about how Disney navigated the change to streaming video on demand, starting with ESPN+ and leading to Disney+.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Embrace Change • Evolving ESPN • The Future of Disruption


- It worked perfectly. - How many times do I have to teach you, just because something works doesn't mean that it cannot be improved. - You are teaching me? What do you know? [MUSIC PLAYING] - It's incredibly important for anyone in a business to have a foot in the present and have a foot in the future. What I mean by that is it's important to be focused on day-to-day operations, day-to-day business circumstances and conditions-- all of the elements that, I think, are important to consider in terms of how to be successful at a given moment. Just as important-- to look as far ahead as possible. Often, a daunting task, particularly since things are changing so rapidly, but it's important to look ahead and have some sense for where your business might be going, what the business conditions are, or what business conditions might develop years into the future, so that decisions that you're making today are enabling you to continue to run your business successfully, you know, long into the future, even though those conditions have changed. [MUSIC PLAYING] I think the best way to embrace disruption is to admit that it's happening. It's not just a speed bump. It's just not something that's happening momentarily that you can ultimately endure and then see yourself to the other side. It's something, I think, you have to understand that it's here to stay. There's an inevitability to change, and I think today's world, there are plenty of examples of just how much change has occurred in the very recent past. And so therefore, we ought to expect that there's far more change on the horizon. Accepting that, I think, is the best way to navigate your way through it or with it. Disruption led by technological advance has had a profound impact on the entire media and entertainment business-- what's being created, how it's being created, how it's being distributed, how it's being consumed, and how it's being monetized. The business model that forms the underpinning of media and entertainment has all changed dramatically. [MUSIC PLAYING] ESPN, over the years since ABC and ESPN were acquired by Disney in the mid '90s, has been one of the most profitable businesses for the company. It actually, today, remains one of our most profitable businesses. But the growth trajectory of ESPN was substantially changed due to technological disruption. Basically, the means by which people are consuming and buying television channels is starting to change. And so what we started to see with ESPN is not only people accessing sports in different ways, but people being more hesitant to buy multi-channel television and ESPN because they had other means of being entertained. And that had a profound effect on ESPN's business. In order to contend with it, we decided that, rather than just accept the disruption and watch ESPN's business diminish, that we would embrace the disruption and take the necessary steps to make sure that ESPN continu...

About the Instructor

In an era of disruption, Disney CEO Bob Iger led one of the world’s most beloved brands to unprecedented success with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Now, through case studies and lessons from 45 years in media, Bob teaches you how to evolve your business and career. Learn strategies for expanding a brand, leading with integrity, and making big moves—from risk management to the art of negotiation.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Bob Iger

Disney CEO Bob Iger teaches you the leadership skills and strategies he used to reimagine one of the world’s most beloved brands.

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