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About Disney Incorporated

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 TV holdings include the ABC TV network and around a dozen TV stations, as well as a portfolio of cable networks including ABC Family, Disney Channel, and ESPN (80%-owned). It produces films through the Disney, Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm brands, and its Disney Parks and Resorts runs popular theme parks including Disney World and Disneyland. The company generates almost three quarters of its revenue in US and Canada. In 2019 Disney purchased assets of Twenty-First Century Fox for $71.3 billion making it an even greater media and entertainment behemoth.

Operations

The company reports through four business segments: Media Networks, Parks, Experience and Products, Studio Entertainment, and Direct-to-Consumer & International.

Media Networks represents more than a third of revenue, and operates cable and broadcast television networks and radio networks and stations. Its main cable networks are ESPN, Disney, and Freeform (Freeform, targets audiences from 14-34). The broadcasting business includes television production (ABC) and distribution operations and eight owned domestic television stations.

Parks, Experiences and Products (over 35%) owns and operates the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California, Disneyland Paris; Aulani, a Disney resort and spa in Hawaii, the Disney Vacation Club (DVC), the Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney. The company also has effective ownership in Disney-branded resorts in China and Japan. This segment operates the Disney Imagineering unit, which designs and develops new theme park concepts and attractions.

Studio Entertainment (around than 15%) produces and acquires live-action and animated motion pictures for worldwide distribution to the theatrical, home entertainment, and television markets. It distributes films primarily under the Disney Pictures, Pixar, Marvel, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Sky Studios, and Lucasfilm banners.

Direct-to-Customer & International (nearly 15%) consists of branded international television networks and channels, which include Disney, ESPN, Fox, National Geographic and Star (International Channels), as well as direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming services, which include Disney +, ESPN+, Hotstar and Hulu as well as other digital content distribution platforms and services.

Geographic Reach

In addition to its theme parks, the Burbank, California-based Walt Disney Company owns and leases properties throughout the world. It generates almost 75% of its revenue from the US and Canada followed by Europe (more than 10%), and Asia Pacific (more than 10%). The remaining revenue comes from Latin America and other regions.

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 consumer interest in the subsequent home entertainment market. Advertising expenses for 2019, 2018 and 2017 were $4.3 billion, $2.8 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively.

Financial Performance

The company's net revenue has been increasing steadily over the past several years with a minor 1% dip in 2017 primarily due to the negative effects of Hurricanes Irma and Matthew.

In fiscal 2019 (ended September), Disney's revenue jumped by 17% to $69.6 billion, driven by triple-digit growth in Direct-to-Consumer & International which went up 174% contributing $9.3 billion to revenue. This was also fueled by higher volumes of Subscription fees and other. Subscription fees and other revenue increased due to the consolidation of Hulu's operations and, to a lesser extent, the consolidation of TFCF's international program sales and higher subscription fees for ESPN+, which launched in April 2018.

Net income saw a 12% slump in 2019 to $11.1 billion, mainly due to higher costs and expenses.

Cash at the end of fiscal 2019 was $5.5 billion, an increase of $1.3 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $6 billion to the coffers, while investing activities used $15.1 billion, primarily for investments in parks and resorts and acquisitions. Financing activities used $464 million for borrowings.

Strategy

The Walt Disney Company is currently focused on integrating its acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox and developing its direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming business. The acquisition of Fox assets gave Disney valuable intellectual property such as Deadpool and the few Marvel characters Fox had owned, such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four, uniting the full Marvel family under Disney. The deal also lets Disney expand its content across new streaming services.

As such, the company announced details about its Disney+ streaming service in 2019, which it is launching in part to combat intense competition from Netflix. Disney wants its other streaming services -- Hulu and sports-focused ESPN+ -- to run on the same technology platform so customers can subscribe to them with the same password and payment information. Disney plans for all three to be individual subscriptions, but Disney will also market a triple-service bundle. Disney+ will include all of Disney's family-friendly fare, including content from Marvel, Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Pixar, and Fox. The company also looking forward to leveraging National Geographic for even more content on Disney+.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2019 Disney completed the acquisition of certain assets of Twenty-First Century Fox for $71.3 billion. Disney gained Fox Studios, FX Networks, and National Geographic Partners. The buy also added Fox's 30% stake in Hulu, bringing Disney's total to a majority 67%. In order to gain approval for the deal, Disney agreed to sell off 21 regional sports networks once owned by Fox; it eventually sold those assets to Sinclair Broadcast Group for over $10 billion.

Company Background

Walt Disney arrived in California in the summer of 1923 with a lot of hopes but little else. He had made a cartoon in Kansas City about a little girl in a cartoon world, called Alice's Wonderland, and he decided that he could use it as his "pilot" film to sell a series of these "Alice Comedies" to a distributor. Soon after arriving in California, he was successful. A distributor in New York, M. J. Winkler, contracted to distribute the Alice Comedies on October 16, 1923, and this date became the start of the Disney company. Originally known as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, with Walt Disney and his brother, Roy, as equal partners, the company soon changed its name, at Roy's suggestion, to the Walt Disney Studio.

Disney Incorporated

500 S Buena Vista St
Burbank, CA 91521-0001
Phone: 1 (818) 560-1000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Assistant Chief Counsel: Alan Lewis
Executive Vice President: Mary Parker
Disney University Library Coordinator: Joe Vecciarelli
Employees (This Location): 150
Employees (All Locations): 223

Major Office Locations

Burbank, CA