Robert Iger, chief executive of the Walt Disney Co., said digital disruption in the entertainment industry doesn’t scare him.
“We actually believe disruptions could create much more opportunity for us instead of the opposite,” he said.
How so? The Internet and mobile technology are giving consumers more choices about where, when and how to watch movies, videos and other entertainment. That’s breaking down the “bundled” packages of programming now offered by cable and satellite TV, he said; it’s also breaking down movie theater chains’ hold on movie distribution.
“Almost all the products we create and sell are through third parties,” with the exception of the company’s theme parks, Iger said. New forms of distribution will give Disney a direct relationship with the customer and “unlock great value” for the company. Industry changes are unpredictable, so, Iger said: “Let’s focus on making great things and the rest will take care of itself.”
Iger spoke on stage in San Francisco at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit. Iger, 63, is considered old establishment, but he shared the stage with Jack Dorsey, 37, Twitter co-founder, CEO of payment system Square, and, starting nine months ago, a member of the Disney board of directors.
The board chose Dorsey, Iger said, by asking “Who is out there that really understands how we are being disrupted today?” Plus, he said with a laugh, it’s possible Dorsey will marry and have children, “and our biggest priority is putting more kids in the world.”