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Iger Discusses the New Disney.com and Future of Digital Entertainment

3 June 2011 No Comment

In a discussion yesterday at the All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Disney CEO Robert Iger explained the upcoming retooling of the Disney.com website. The site, which has undergone multiple iterations over the years, will soon become an “uber-network” for all aspects of the Disney company. With the revamp of the website, Disney entertainment will be made directly available to consumers, allowing users to stream movies, television shows and games through a subscription, pay-per-view, or advertising-based service right on the site. The new Disney.com will also offer a cleaner, easier, and more personalized experience for its users.

“We have a unique opportunity as Disney because it really is the only true global entertainment brand,” Iger said Thursday.  “People go to Disney because they know its brand attributes. We believe we have an opportunity to go with our content directly to consumers.”

This new change is part of the current trend toward digital entertainment distribution, as services such as Hulu and Netflix have surged in popularity. While this new way of consuming entertainment does present obstacles, such as storage space for consumers’ digital collections, and more traditional methods often generate more revenue, Iger seems excited and hopeful for the potential of digital distribution.

“Netflix, Amazon, iTunes — whatever platforms emerge — we are looking at as having the same potential that home video had for the movie business,” Iger said. “Which means there are entirely new opportunities to monetize our capital investment in content and do so in ways that work for distributors, for consumers and for creators.”

At the conference, Iger also touched on other technological aspects of the Disney company. He defended the use of 3-D in films, a trend that has lately been called in to question, saying that it has to be used “in smart ways. It has to be used carefully, in the right film, in the right way.” Iger also discussed high-tech, more personalized experiences coming to the Disney theme parks, including the possibility of a ride time reservation system and the ability to, with guests’ permission, identify them as they move around the park. Finally, Iger briefly discussed the company’s acquisition of Playdom, Inc, acknowledging that while the company previously made some mistakes and focused too much on console-based games, they are now turning their attention to social games.

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