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Disney’s Iger says Maker growth “huge,” but too soon for branded OTT

In Disney's Q1 2015 earnings call with investors, company chairman and CEO Bob Iger said the company won't be launching a full-on OTT assault with its brands anytime soon.
February 5, 2015

In Disney’s Q1 2015 earnings call with investors on Tuesday, company chairman and CEO Bob Iger said there has been “huge growth” in the streaming video numbers for Maker Studios since it was purchased by the company last spring in a deal worth up to US$950 million. He did not cite any figures to illustrate the increases.

In spite of his bullish assessment, Iger characterized Maker as a “unique acquisition opportunity” that didn’t necessarily suggest a change in direction for the company overall.

“The power of this company largely is in its brands and storytelling and creativity that runs across platforms and is often distributed by third parties, whether they are movie theater owners, big box retailers, or MVPDs or new platforms like Netflix and Amazon and Hulu,” Iger said.

Although he said he recognized there are opportunities to reach consumers directly with separate branded OTT services for Disney, Marvel and possibly even Star Wars, he said it would not be happening in the immediate future.

“If we see that the market dynamics are changing in such a way that it’s better for us as a company to take the product out directly and to not only improve our margins by taking out the middleman, but to create a closer relationship with the consumer that can be mined for other revenue generating purposes, then we will do that,” Iger said. “But we think if we were to do that now, it would be somewhat precipitous of us and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to be that way.”

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