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'We invested too much': Disney CEO blames $4 billion loss on aggressive investments and telling 'too many stories'
Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images

'We invested too much': Disney CEO blames $4 billion loss on aggressive investments and telling 'too many stories'

Iger has insisted that political or ideological messaging has not been infused into Disney content.

At a recent investors conference, Disney CEO Bob Iger blamed the company's massive losses on spreading itself too thin across too many projects.

Iger spoke at the 2024 MoffettNathanson Media and Communications Summit where he explained why he thought projects like streaming platform Disney+ have caused the company's bottom line to suffer.

"As we got into the streaming business in a very, very aggressive way, we tried to tell too many stories. Basically we invested too much, way ahead of possible returns. It's what led to streaming ending up as a $4 billion loss," Iger said in the webcasted conference.

Recent reports have shown that outside of Disney+, the studio's would-be blockbuster movies suffered catastrophic failures.

Titles "The Marvels," "Wish," a new Indiana Jones, and Disney's "Haunted Mansion" combined for a stunning $600 million loss in 2023.

Iger described his successor Bob Chapek, who he later replaced upon his return, as being irresponsible with spending.

"It was clear to me that our structure was not working, because we were removing accountability from those that were basically investing the most capital," Iger said, according to Hollywood Reporter.

'I've been telling everybody good isn’t good enough. It has to be great.'

The increased spending meant that there was too much content to focus on, Iger claimed, adding that the spending "resulted in volume and not quality, which turned out to be a mistake."

Yet, at the same time, Iger also stated that volume was actually necessary in order to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

"There's a very fine line that you can cross and get in trouble if your volume ends up diluting management’s attention to what is being made is right. And that’s what happened to us. So, I have pulled that back," the CEO told the conference.

It isn't clear how Iger's remarks will mesh with his recent dedication to producing sequels instead of original storylines. The CEO said that there was a lot of value in making sequels, particularly because the stories are both "known" and take less "in terms of marketing."

Iger has not conceded in any way, shape, or form that the infusion of diversity, equity, and inclusion into Disney projects have put a sour taste in audience's mouths. Rather, Iger has said that the company doesn't infuse any messaging into its content at all.

The Mickey Mouse company has reportedly planned to reconnect its creative departments of the studio to the monetization side, to help ensure quality is not lost.

"I've been telling everybody good isn’t good enough. It has to be great. Just keep driving that, but if you force them to make too much, then that becomes almost impossible to do," Iger said.

Disney also hopes that bundling its streaming platforms like Hulu and ESPN+ will increase overall engagement.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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