Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, the Walt Disney Company recently acquired Lucasfilm in October, 2012. Lucasfilm is the umbrella corporation responsible for Star Wars and Indiana Jones, which are strong global brands, Star Wars being one of the greatest entertainment franchises. This acquisition combines two of the strongest family entertainment brands in the world. Moreover, it continues Disney’s strategic focus on creating and monetizing the world’s best-branded content, innovative technology and global growth. In 2015, they are planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the "Disney-Lucasfilm" brand on Disney-branded TV channels. Their long-term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.[i]
History of The Walt Disney Company
Roy and Walt Disney founded the Walt Disney Company in 1923. As one of the major players in the mass media industry, this company aims not only to provide the highest quality entertainment, but also to differentiate themselves from competitors with distinctive characters and unique themes. Utilizing the company’s historic nature, the Walt Disney Company has effectively carved their place in the arena of television and movies. Over the past ninety years, Walt Disney has remained a beacon of creativity and innovation, constantly developing films and cable television programs that maintain their position as a leader in the mass media industry. Much of the Walt Disney strategy involves strongly differentiating themselves from competitors with higher quality entertainment and overall consumer experience.[ii]
The Walt Disney Company has a dual focus on both the consumer experience and the financial success of the mass media conglomerate. Beginning with the consumer, this company strives to remain “one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.”[iii] Their strategy in achieving this goal is to utilize their diverse portfolio of brands to set themselves apart from competitors. In doing so, Walt Disney is attempting to provide a unique experience for consumers from the area of services, products and content.
The financial aspects of Walt Disney’s goals are quite similar to many other companies and include maximizing revenues, but there is an added aspect to this objective. Walt Disney has made in an explicit goal to “allocate capital towards growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value.”[iv] This shows the company’s commitment not only to continuous growth and maturation, but also shows their constant focus on the consumer. Throughout their history, the Walt Disney Company has always remained focused on simultaneous goals of company improvement and customer satisfaction. Immediate goals have changed, but overall objectives have remained constant.
History of the Movie Industry
The film industry, with its beginnings dating back to the late 1880s, was initially started in Europe, with Italy and France at the forefront of cinema development. During the early 20th century, the U.S film industry, or “Hollywood,” started to gain momentum, and quickly became the largest producers of film in the world. Since then, technology has played a crucial role in the production and distribution of films, and has significantly impacted overall demand for movie consumption.
The global film industry, segmented into box office and home entertainment categories, suffered a significant hit to their revenues during the Great Recession of 2008, as a result of a decrease in consumers’ disposable income. Since 2011, the industry has slowly begun to grow again, and is expected to continue its slow growth in the coming years. Technologies such as 3D and IMAX theaters, as well as high quality televisions have begun to stimulate demand within the market.
Overview of the Industry...