Disney CEO Bob Iger said on Thursday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco that the entertainment giant may once again make some of its film and television shows available to rivals. He said the change was part of cutting back the amount of programming solely on its Disney+ streaming service.
"As we look to reduce the content that we're creating for our own platforms, there probably are opportunities to license to third parties," Iger said. "For a while, that was something we couldn't possibly do because we were so favoring our own streaming platforms. But if we get to a point where we need less content for these platforms, and we still have the capacity of producing that content, why not use it to grow revenue?"
Iger said he was bullish overall on streaming but said the company needed to rethink its current strategy. For example, the company started restricting how much of its content was available to competitors in 2019.
“It’s already clear to us that the exclusivity that we thought would be so valuable to us in growing subscriptions, while it has some value, it wasn’t as valuable as we thought,” he said.
Two examples he cited as possibilities for sharing with other streaming platforms are cartoon series such as Bob's Burgers and Family Guy. Both came under the Disney umbrella when it purchased 21st Century Fox.
The possible change comes as Disney struggles to keep up its growth. The company reported a quarterly loss of $1.5 billion earlier this year. It also reported its first loss of subscribers on Disney+.