The Walt Disney Company has grown rapidly over time becoming one of the leading companies in the entertainment industry and continues to excel with no signs of slowing down. The Walt Disney Company has diverse operations in different aspects of the entertainment industry. Media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media are all interconnected branches of The Walt Disney Company that have expanded into global markets.
Having such diverse operations amongst the entertainment industry, Disney has been able to show the synergistic possibilities of a company’s media consolidation. The Walt Disney Company started after founder, Walt Disney, had bankrupt his cartoon company Laugh-O-Gram in 1922. On October 16th, 1923, Walt Disney had signed a contract with M. J. Winkler to start a series of “Alice Comedies” under the company known as “The Disney Brothers Studio” only to be renamed “The Walt Disney Studio” shortly after. From here on, Walt Disney would produce animations which became the corner stone of his company.
Success with such animated releases as Steamboat Willie in 1928, the first appearance of the iconic Mickey Mouse character, and the Silly Symphony series starting in 1929, Disney set the standard for cartoons and children’s culture. The Mickey Mouse character would also begin the company’s venture into merchandising, after a license was sought from a man in New York wanting to put the iconic character on pencil tablets. In 1929 we would see the company reorganize as a corporation, changing its name to “Walt Disney Productions”.
Walt Disney’s next move was expanding animations into feature-length films. His first, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” in 1937, was a success becoming the highest grossing film by 1939. Using the profits from his feature-films, Disney began construction on the new Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, which serves as the company’s headquarters till this very day. With all this success, Disney decided to open stock to the public on April 2nd, 1942. With the new studio and continual release of feature films, it was time to branch out into another market, Television.
Disney had immediate success with what would become the longest running television series at the time, “Disneyland”. The “Disneyland” series would serve as a platform for the company to be able show new and coming projects and broadcast old ones. One new project premiering through the “Disneyland” series was the idea of developing a theme park. In 1955, Disney opened its first theme park, Disneyland, in Anaheim, California, that spanned over 160 acres. Just 11 years later, the greatest inspiration and leader behind the Disney Company, Walt Disney, died on December 15, 1966.
Despite the loss of the great visionary behind the company, Disney continued to grow even till this day. The Disney Company was becoming largely successful in the US, therefore during the 80’s they began to globally expand. They opened their first international Disney theme park, Tokyo Disneyland, in 1983. Later that decade, they agreed to build Euro 8 Disneyland, later renamed Disneyland Paris, further expanding their global presence. The 1990’s and 2000’s were a time of unprecedented growth in the Disney Company.
They began to expand their influence across many areas through purchasing companies and sports teams. Through its great expansion and growth as a company, Disney has divided its company into five main business segments. These consist of media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. The media network division of Disney is comprised of broadcast, cable, radio, publishing and digital businesses within the two main subsets of Disney/ABC and ESPN Inc. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division has grown into one of the world’s leading providers for family vacations.
The parks and resorts division includes 11 theme parks and 43 resorts across the globe, Disney’s cruise line with its four ships, and Adventures by Disney, which is guided family vacations of locations around the world. The Walt Disney Studios segment has been the foundation of the company for over 85 years. The studio is in charge of bringing the world quality family movies, music, and stage plays. Feature Films are released through many different ways under the umbrella of Disney, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Dreamworks, and Touchstone Pictures. The Disney music group includes Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records.
The business section of Disney is in the Disney Consumer Products, which range from selling apparel, toys, home decor, books and magazines to foods and beverages, stationary, electronics, and fine art. The main retail chain, The Disney Store, is located in North America, Europe, and Japan. The most recently founded segment in 2008, Disney Interactive, push the boundaries of technology and imagination to entertain children and families around the world. Disney Interactive uses a variety of ways to do this, through mobile, social, and console games, online virtual worlds, and top ranked web destinations.
Together all five of these segments create the global corporation that Disney has become today. Disney’s objective is to “one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, serves, and consumer products. The company’s primary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital toward growth and initiatives that will drive long term shareholder value” as stated by the corporate website under the investors tab.
The corporate site lists Robert A. Iger as the current CEO. “Robert A. Iger is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. As Chairman and CEO, Mr. Iger is the steward of the world’s largest media company and some of the most respected and beloved brands around the globe. His strategic vision for The Walt Disney Company focuses on three fundamental pillars: generating the best creative content possible; fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology; and expanding into new markets around the world. ” Under Iger’s leadership, 2015 had an exceptional year with a revenue of $52. 5 billion.
This as an increase of 7% from 2014’s revenue as stated on Disney’s 2015 annual financial report. Being a diversified entertainment company, Disney faces a number of competitors in its various segments. Some of the main media conglomerates with which Disney competes include Viacom Inc. , Time Warner Inc. , Twenty-First Century Fox, CBS, and Comcast. Comparing the results to its competitors, Walt Disney Co reported Total Revenue increase in the 1 quarter 2016 by 4. 08 % year on year. The revenue growth was below Walt Disney Company’s competitors’ average revenue growth of 6. 13 %, recorded in the same quarter.