2/8/2024

Disney Company: business model and competitors

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The Walt Disney Company really excited its investors by announcing a deal with Epic Games. And with good reason: since the 1920s, Disney has industriously erected its empire, developing numerous lucrative products across various market sectors. As the largest media conglomerate globally, Disney is primarily recognized for its achievements in films, television shows, and theme parks.

Within the company’s television division, it oversees the ABC television network, operates eight proprietary television stations, collaborates with over 240 affiliates, and manages several cable networks, such as Freeform, Disney Channel, and ESPN. Walt Disney Pictures, Disney Animation, and Pixar are responsible for creating films under the umbrella of Walt Disney Studios. Furthermore, Disney holds ownership of Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm, both serving as lucrative assets, particularly in the realms of film production and merchandise markets.

In this article, we decided to analyze the business structure and market of the entertainment giant’s competitors.

Disney Business Model

Traditionally linked to animated classics like Cinderella, Snow White, and Bambi, Disney has earned its renown through iconic characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. However, its impact extends far beyond animation. Disney stands as a highly diversified entity, with involvements in television and film production, travel and tourism, and the operation of theme parks.

In the fiscal year 2021, Disney disclosed an annual revenue of $67.14 billion, marking an increase from $65.39 billion in 2020. This growth was propelled by the rising number of subscribers to its streaming services.

In 2018, the company underwent a strategic overhaul, resulting in the establishment of four distinct business segments. Subsequently, these business segments were reorganized into two primary divisions and four content group.

Disney competitors

Disney’s influence transcends the realm of entertainment, encompassing areas such as travel and tourism, theme parks, and consumer products. Therefore, for a comprehensive understanding of key competitors, it is advisable to assess them based on their respective business units.

 

Cinema and TV

Disney plays a pivotal role in the film and television industry by producing a wide range of films and television shows. Additionally, the company operates its own stations in major U.S. metropolitan areas, broadcasting local news and programs.

Comcast is a diversified corporation with operations across various sectors. Its film and television studios boast renowned names such as Universal, DreamWorks, and Universal Television. Comcast also holds ownership of NBCUniversal, which encompasses several owned and operated television stations branded under NBC, along with networks like CNBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo.

Sony, as a conglomerate of film companies, includes entities like Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, and TriStar Pictures. Notably, Sony Pictures Television serves as a key distributor of television programs worldwide.

 

Streaming services

In 2019, Disney introduced its streaming service, consolidating its entire catalog of original Disney content, comprising animated films and series, along with additional content from Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic, and Star Wars. Disney remains actively involved in creating and disseminating original content through this platform.

Netflix. The origin of this streaming powerhouse traces back to 1997 when its founders initiated a DVD-by-mail rental service. The company went public in 2002 with an initial public offering (IPO) at a share price of $1. In 2007, responding to the diminishing demand for DVDs, Netflix redirected its focus towards streaming content, successfully reaching global audiences with TV shows and movies. Additionally, the company serves as a prolific producer of original content accessible through its various online and digital platforms.

Amazon Prime Video. The colossal e-commerce entity ventured into the realm of television and film content for Prime Video subscribers in 2006. Much like Netflix and Disney, Amazon is actively engaged in creating its own content, which is directly distributed through the Prime Video platform.

 

Amusement parks

Disney possesses and manages four prominent theme parks, featuring the highly popular Magic Kingdom and Epcot parks, alongside two water and sports parks within the United States. Globally, Disney asserts its leadership in this sector with a total of 12 theme parks. Nevertheless, having a prominent position does not imply an absence of competitors.

Six Flags Entertainment. The largest theme park and water park company in North America. It owns and operates 27 unique entertainment properties distributed throughout North America. In November 2019, Six Flags announced plans to open a new park in the Middle East with Six Flags Qiddiya, which will be located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Cedar Fair. Cedar Fair operates 17 theme parks in the United States and Canada and generated $1.34 billion in revenue in 2021.

Universal Studios. Although it doesn’t have as many parks and attractions as some of its competitors, Universal Studios still has huge potential thanks to the popularity of the world of Harry Potter. Theme parks based on the franchise have significantly increased attendance at Universal at its five locations across the United States and Asia.

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