The company said Monday (Oct. 12) that it will be working to prioritize its streaming by centralizing its media and entertainment operations into one organization responsible for all content distribution, ad sales and Disney+, CNBC reported.
CEO Bob Chapek said the global pandemic “accelerated the rate at which we made this transition, but this transition was going to happen anyway,” according to CNBC.
The pandemic has crippled the entertainment giant’s theater plans as people continue to social distance.
As movie theaters are currently not a reliable source of income, Disney has been relying on Disney+ to help it make money. The movie theater slow-down includes notable theatrical pushbacks, including Marvel’s “Black Widow” and Pixar’s “Soul,” CNBC reported.
But Disney has been attempting to pick up the slack. It has more than 100 million paid subscribers across its various paid services, and over half of them subscribe to Disney+, CNBC reported.
Activist investor Dan Loeb recently called on Disney to get the company to end its $3 billion annual dividend to help funnel more capital to original Disney+ content, CNBC reported. Loeb said the company is pleased to “thrive in the next era of entertainment.”
Disney’s media business decision comes after the entertainment giant announced it would cut 28,000 employees from its jobs divisions last month. Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, said the pandemic had put the company in a “difficult” place.
“We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity,” D’Amaro said at the time.