Entertainment brand Disney has announced grand plans to boost its popular movie franchises and television series by starting a new video streaming site to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime. To encourage visitors to its site it is preparing a new live-action Star Wars series that will help continue its profits into the next year. The firm has reported record financial results this year due to popular movies like Incredibles 2, Ant-Man and The Wasp. Disney CEO Robert Iger said that Star Wars series is an example of new investments that the group is focusing on to create a strong presence and take advantage of ongoing trends.
The firm made record annual profits this year of $12.6 billion on revenues of $59.4 billion and during the third quarter that ended in September Disney earned revenues of $14.3 billion showcasing the growth of 12 percent year on year as profits rose by 33 percent to $2.3 billion. Along with film studios, Disney owns theme parks, cruise ships and a television division that includes brands like ESPN and ABC along with the recent acquisition of Fox group. To expand its digital reach the group is planning to launch a family-oriented video streaming site called Disney Plus which will have a mix of its old catalog of movies and new shows that were launched this year.
While the group’s online ventures are yet to bear fruit, Mr. Iger said that the results so far have been encouraging and he is pleased with ESPN Plus that has earned nearly 1 million subscribers. He said that once the 21st Century Fox deal is through it will expand its catalog of content for digital sites. Once its controlling stake in television streaming site HULU is through by mid-2019 the combined strength of all these platforms will make Disney a powerhouse of content that will deliver “direct-to-customer products.