Joining Disney to Reimagine Media and Entertainment Streaming
I couldn’t be more excited to share that I’ll be joining the Disney product team, specifically on the Disney Streaming Services team. Joining this iconic and beloved brand has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid when my parents first took me to Disney World. The creative genius that went into every small detail of the park formed a protected world of magical imagination that I’ll never forget. What resonated most with me about this experience is how Disney created a world where anything you could imagine could manifest itself into reality. In his book Disney War, James Stewart said “Everything inside Disney World is an illusion; prettier, cleaner, safer, better, more fun than the real world. It was Walt’s genius to recognize that it is not only children who want to escape from reality, but adults do too. It’s a secular faith that has been embraced so passionately by so many people that the name Disney itself has become synonymous with an idealized American culture in which dreams come true.” I couldn’t agree more with these sentiments, as Disney as a company has built its empire on making the impossible — possible. This mission has extended beyond their parks business to nearly every business unit of Disney.
What’s most exciting to me is how there’s a massive multigenerational change occurring with how people interact and consume media and entertainment today. The business models, content development, and consumer expectations have recently gone through radical imagination that we wouldn’t have thought was possible a decade ago. Television is no longer a stationary experience but rather constantly with consumers everywhere they go. People watch their favorite shows, games, and movies in taxis, planes, and while waiting in line for practically anything. Consumers expect to access any content on any screen and as a result, companies are innovating at a rapid pace to keep up with these consumer demands. I saw this trend first-hand in the health and fitness space, where I was part of the team at ClassPass that launched the first live-streamed interactive at-home workout program called ClassPass Live. Even earlier in my career, while at The Active Network, I had the privilege of working with sports organizations like Pop Warner Football, Little League Baseball and Softball, and the United States Tennis Association who were all seeking new innovative ways to connect and engage consumers on a more personal and differentiated way. For me, it doesn’t get any better than the intersection of technology innovation and consumer entertainment.
This is why it was kismet when I first met the team at Disney Streaming Services, within Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer & International division. The foundation of this team stems from the late 2017 acquisition of New York City-based BAMTech Media, a global leader in direct-to-consumer streaming technology and marketing services, data analytics, and commerce management. The first product to have launched under this group was ESPN+, a premium multi-sport streaming service. ESPN+ will stream 10,000 live sporting events in its first year, in addition to on-demand content, past sporting events, and original content. With more than 1 million paid subscribers in its first 6 months of life, it’s become one of the fastest growing subscription products. The highly anticipated new Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service called Disney+ is expected to launch in 2019. Disney+ will become the exclusive home in the U.S. for subscription-video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar, beginning with the 2019 theatrical slate, which includes Toy Story 4, the sequel to Frozen, and The Lion King. Not to mention this will house a vast collection of library content including Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucas Films.
Disney Streaming Services is dedicated to delivering global audiences the freedom to access content on their terms across any connected device, time, or location. They serve consumers by bringing the world’s most beloved characters, timeless stories, legendary athletes, and epic sporting events to global audiences through best-in-class direct-to-consumer video services.
If that’s not a mission worth getting up every morning for, I’m not sure what is. I look forward to sharing more updates and announcements on this incredible journey that I’m about to embark on.