The monarch of this magic kingdom is no man but a mouse: Mickey Mouse. The Walt Disney Company is the world's largest media conglomerate, with assets encompassing movies, television, publishing, and theme parks. Its Disney/ABC Television Group includes the ABC television network and 10 broadcast stations, as well as a portfolio of cable networks including ABC Family, Disney Channel, and ESPN (80%-owned). Walt Disney Studios produces films through imprints Walt Disney Pictures, Disney Animation, and Pixar. It also owns Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm, two extremely successful film producers. In addition, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts runs its popular theme parks including Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Disney has properties in the US and Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. The company gets about 75% of its revenue from the US and Canada.
Other international Disney park locations include a 40% interest in Euro Disney, which operates Disneyland Paris; the company also collects royalties and fees from Tokyo Disneyland Resort, operated by Oriental Land Co.
Sales and Marketing
Disney incurs significant marketing and advertising costs before and throughout the theatrical release of its films in an effort to generate publicity and generate consumer interest in the subsequent home entertainment market. The company’s total annual advertising expenses are normally in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion.
Disney’s revenues increased by 7%, to $45.0 billion and net income increased 8%, to $6.136 billion in fiscal 2013 compared to the previous year. The growth was attributed to increases in revenue from the company’s media networks segment, the parks and resorts segment, the interactive segment, and Disney's consumer products segment.
Net income increased by 8% during fiscal 2013, to $6.136 billion compared to $5.682 million in fiscal 2012. The spike was the result of an increase in revenue combined with a slight decrease in income tax expenses. Cash flow increased along with revenues.
Like other media conglomerates, the company depends on its wide array of entertainment offerings across its film, television, and theme parks divisions to generate revenue; it also earns money by distributing its content through multiple channels. A substantial part of Disney's business also comes from ancillary products, mostly aimed at children, created from its trove of characters and other intellectual property.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2014 Disney agreed to acquire Maker Studios, the leading network of online video content on YouTube. The acquisition will let Disney deliver content to consumers on whatever platform they prefer.
In December 2012 Disney sent shockwaves across the media world when it acquired Lucasfilm from George Lucas for more than $4 billion in order to add the Star Wars franchise to its already bursting portfolio of entertainment properties.