In an interview with Fortune, Anne Sweeny, Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks, discusses the strong influence Apple and particularly Apple’s technology have had on Disney and ABC. In many ways Disney has been more successful in transitioning to the digital age than many of it’s competitors. Since Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder of Disney stock, as well as being on its board of directors, it only stands to reason that the technology giant would have an influence on Disney. Discussing the announcement of the video iPod, Sweeny says:
But it was a critical moment for our group, because we realized something. We had talked for so many years about change and being available to our viewers and suddenly it had happened. And it really sparked every change we’ve made since then.
Disney has had a mixed track record in embracing technology, but it seems that on the media front at least, Apple’s influence has helped them achieve a front-runner status. According to RBR Media, ABC.com is the currently the #1 Online broadcaster. While that may not be adding much to the bottom-line yet, Apple has shown that getting a strong brand in technology can be an enduring asset.